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Full text of "The birds of Tierra del Fuego"

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THE BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 



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^JEKRA DEL FUEGO" 



BY 



EICHAED CEAWSHAY 

Captain 
Reserve of Officers : late Inniskilling Dragoons 



London 
BERNARD QUARITCH 

1907 



Three Hundred Copies of this Work have been 
'printed, of ivhich this is No.-^P- 



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PEEFACE 

What a land of mystery is Tierra del Fuego, even to its TIERRA 

, DEL 

very name ! FUEGO 

It was by accident, and not by design, that I came to realize 
this remote extreme of the Earth. 

On my landing at Punta Arenas from the " Milton " in August, 
1904, for the purpose of travel in Patagonia, that country proved 
weather-bound and impenetrable in one of the worst winters 
ever known. I had not reconciled myself to remaining where I 
was in idleness for two months, when a welcome alternative was 
oflfered me by Mr. Moritz Braun, Director-General Sociedad 
Explotadora de Tierra del Fuego, who suggested my seeing 
something of that island under exceptional facilities generously 
afforded by him. 

Nothing loath, I embarked overnight in a little coasting 
steamer, the " Magallanes," proceeding thither ; and the following 
morning landed at the head of Useless Bay. 

My first sight of the island was weird and unearthly indeed, 
coming as I did direct from the tropics and summer in the 
northern hemisphere, as it gradually unfolded itself in the 
slowly-coming blue-grey light of a winter's morning. Grey 
sky, grey sea, grey beach, the land white, and the black rocky 
crests of snow mountains standing out in threatening relief 
suspended between earth and heaven. What a study the 
sea-shore, here, where the two greatest oceans meet and sweep 
round the tail of the greatest continent ! What tremendous 
force of wind and water ! Piled up in such confusion as to make 
one stand aghast in contemplating it are masses of sea-weed with 
rocks attached, mussel and limpet shells, the bones or entire 
carcases of whales — large and small, the carcases of sea lions 



Vlll PREFACE 

and of guanacos, trunks of trees, and sucli evidence of the 
existence of man as a boat, a spar, an oar, a companion ladder, 
a ship's draught-board painted in black and white chequers on 
a stout piece of plank, and other wreckage. 

What stirring associations have these winds and waves and 
shores with the great ocean explorers in days gone by — 
^lagalhaens, Drake, Sarmiento, Richard Hawkins, Cavendish, 
Van Noort, Narborough, Anson, Byron, Bougainville, Wallis, 
Carteret, Cordova, B. Gr. and G. de Nodales, Cook, Weddell, 
King, Stokes, Fitzroy, Ross! How immortal are the memories 
of these men in Port Famine, Cape Penas, Last Hope Inlet, 
Port Desire, Cape Froward, Cape Deceit, Grood Success Bay, 
Fury Harbour, Useless Bay, Cape Providence, Devil's Basin, Bay 
of Mercy, Desolation Island — each telling its tale of origin, the 
details of which one may learn how to fill in from personal 
experience ! 

In spite of its terrific elements and inevitable privations, 
these old time voyagers were, for the most part, impressed 
with its being a good land. 

Magalhaens, its discoverer, on the 21st of October, 1520, says, 
" There is not in all the world a more healthy country, or better 
strait." Drake experienced as great hardships and disasters as 
any, including the foundering of the " Marigold " with all hands 
under his eyes, yet concludes it " a place, no doubt, that lacketh 
nothing but a people to vse the same to the Creator's gior}'." 
Hawkins considered it " a goodly champion country." 

Personally, in these latter days I was fascinated by Tierra 
del Fuego, from the time of first setting eyes on it that morning 
until I came to leave it six months later, after seeing winter go, 
and summer come, and go again. I doubt if there is another 
land on earth concerning which more misconception prevails — 
partly owing to its geographical position whence it is inferred to 
be so cold as to be uninhabitable ; partly owing to its misleading 
name, pre-supposing abnormal heat, whereas originally this 
had reference to the fires of the natives along shore. Both 



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PEEFACE IX 

these opinions have repeatedly been expressed to me. Other 
people, again, arrive at its climate by analogy with corresponding 
latitudes in the northern hemisphere. In reality, it is far colder 
and far more inclement. At no time does the temperatm^e ever 
rise to anything approaching summer-heat in the British Islands. 
It commonly freezes at midsummer. Degrees of temperature, 
however, do not convey the climate. There is the wind from 
the everlasting snows and glaciers, always blowing with terrific 
force and with cutting keenness, yet how invigorating and 
fragrant with forest and peat and seaweed ! 

Drake thus describes the weather in 1578 : — " The moun- 
taines being verry high, and som reaching into the frozen 
region, did euery one send out their seueral windes ; somtymes 
behind us, to send us on our way ; somtymes on the starrboarde 
side, to driue us to the larborde, and on the contrary ; somtymes 
right against us, to driue us farther back in an houre than wee 
could recouer againe in many ; but of all others this was the 
worst, that sometyme two or three of these winds would come 
together, and meet as it were in one body, whose forces being 
becom one, did so violently fall into the sea, whirleing, or as the 
Spanyard saith, with a tornado, that they would pierce into the 
very bowells of the sea, and make it swell upwards on every syde ; 
the hollownes they made in the water, and the winds breaking 
out againe, did take the swelling banks so raised into the ayer, 
and being dispersed abroad, it rann downe againe a mighty raine. 
Neither may I omit the grisly sight of the cold and frozen 
mountains rearing their heads, yea, the greatest part of their 
bodies, into the cold and frozen region, where the power of the 
reflection of the sonn neuer reacheth to dissolve the ise and snow ; 
so that the ise and snow hang about the spires of the mountains 
circularwise, as it were regions by degrees, one above another, 
and one exceeding another in breadth in a wonderful order. From 
these hills distilled so sharpe a breath, that it seemed to enter into 
the bowells of nature, to the great discomfort of the lives of our 
men." 



X PREFACE 

Stokes of the "Beagle" alludes to the weather as "that 
in which the soul of man dies in him" — pathetically enough, 
almost his last words before committing suicide under stress of 
all he had to undergo. 

How difficult is navigation in these waters may be realized 
from the time taken by some of the early voyagers in making 
the Bay of Mercy from Cape Froward, a distance of 200 miles — 
Byron, in 1764, 42 days; Wallis and Carteret, in 1766, 82 and 
84 days respectively; Bougainville, in 1768, 40 days; Stokes, in 
1827, 30 days. Of Cape Froward, Stokes thus records his 
experience : — " To double it, and gain an anchorage under Cape 
Holland, certainly cost the ' Beagle ' as tough a sixteen hours' 
beat as I have ever witnessed : we made thirty one tacks, which, 
with the squalls, kept us constantly on the alert, and scarcely 
allowed the crew to have the ropes out of their hands through- 
out the day." 

But, of course, the region of Cape Horn is notorious for 
beinar the most storm -ridden on earth. 

However rigorous, it is healthy, as Sir John Xarborough 
constantly testifies in 1670. " A man hath an excellent stomach 
here," he says ; " I can eat Foxes and Kites as savourily as if 
it were Mutton. Nothing comes amiss to our stomachs." 

For weaklings and for those who cling to luxury it is no 
country. To the robust, reasonably optimistic, and open-minded, 
I commend it in all confidence — above all, to those who would 
realize the Earth as God created Her. 

In Tierra del Fuego, man is face to face with Nature and 
Her greatest forces untamed and unrestrained, to an extent 
perhaps unequalled anywhere else in the world. Well has 
Darwin said : — "The inanimate works of Nature — rock, ice, 
snow, wind, and water, all warring with each other, yet 
combined against man — here reign in absolute sovereignty." 
Here, if anywhere, is the Mystery of Life likely to reveal Itself 
to man. "Nothing meets the eye but only God." Alone, with 
none but these mighty voices of the Creator thundering in his 




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PREFACE XI 



ears, and His work bein,^ carried on under his eyes, he cannot 
but live always as much in realization of things unseen as of 
things seen : — 

''' How all the moving phantasies of things, 
And all our visual notions, shadow like. 
Half hide, half show, that All-sustaining One, 
Whose bibles are the leaves of lowly flowers, 
And the calm strength of mountains : rippling lakes ; 
And the irregular howl of stormful seas, 
Soft slumbering lights of even and of morn. 
And the unfolding of the star-Ut gloom." 

The geology of Tierra del Fuego is an impressive study. 
According to Darwin, than whom no better authority has 
arisen in all this time, the northern and eastern portion is 
composed of horizontal tertiary strata, fringed by low, irregular, 
extensive plains belonging to the boulder formation, and made 
up of coarse unstratified masses, sometimes associated with fine, 
laminated, muddy sandstones. Alluvial gold occurs freely ; 
also lignitic coal at Cheena Creek and on the south coast. 
In San Sebastian Bay, the cliffs are composed of fine sand- 
stones often in curvilinear layers, including hard concretions of 
calcareous sandstone, and layers of gravel. Towards the interior 
of the island, the tertiary formation is bounded by a broad 
mountainous band of clay slate. The rock forming the summit 
of Nose Peak is determined by Dr. J. S. Flett as a fine, highly 
felspathic grit, yellow in colour when weathered and soft from 
the abundance of felspar. It consists of quartz, various felspar, 
fragments of slate or shale, biotite decomposing to chlorite, 
and a minutely fragmental interstitial or cementing material. 
Metamorphic schists, granite, and various trappean rocks compose 
the western and broken portion. No recent volcanic district 
occurs anywhere. The clay slate is generally fissile, sometimes 
siliceous or ferruginous with veins of quartz and calcareous 
spar ; often assuming, especially on the loftier mountains, an 
altered felspathic character, passing into felspathic porphyry; 

b 2 



Xll PREFACE 

occasionally associated with breccia and grauwacke. At Good 
Success Bay, there is a little intercalcated black crystalline 
limestone. In many parts the clay slate is broken by dikes and 
by great masses of greenstone, often highly hornblendic. ISTear 
the dikes the slate generally becomes paler-coloured, harder, less 
fissile, of a felspathic nature, and passes into a porphyry or 
greenstone : in one case, however, it becomes more fissile, of a 
red colour, and contains minute scales of mica, which are absent 
in the unaltered rock. Towards its south-west boundary, the 
clay-slate becomes much altered and felspathic. West of the 
bifurcation of the Beagle Channel, the slate-formation, instead of 
becoming, as in the more southern parts of the island, fel- 
spathic, and associated with trappean or old volcanic rocks, 
passes by alterations into a great underlying mass of fine 
gneiss and glossy clay -slate, which at no great distance is 
succeeded by a grand formation of mica-slate containing garnets. 
The folia of these metamorphic schists strike parallel to the 
cleavage-planes of the clay-slate, which have a very uniform 
direction over the whole of this part of the country : the folia, 
however, are undulatory and tortuous, whilst the cleavage- 
laminge of the slate are straight. The Darwin Range is composed 
of these schists. On the south-western side of the northern arm 
of the Beagle Channel, the clay-slate has its strata dipping 
from this great mountain chain, so that the metamorphic schists 
here form a ridge bordered on each side by clay-slate. Further 
north, to the west of this great range there is no clay-slate, but 
only gneiss, mica, and hornblendic slates, resting on great 
barren hills of true granite, and forming a tract about sixty 
miles in width. Westward of these rocks, the outermost islands 
are of trappean formation, which, together with granite, seem 
chiefly to prevail along the western coast as far north as the 
entrance to the Strait of Magellan. In both arms of the Beagle 
Channel, there is a peculiar plutonic rock deserving of 
especial notice, namely, a granulo-crystalline mixture of white 
albite, black hornblende, and more or less of brown mica, but 




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PREFACE XIU 

without any quartz. This occurs in large masses, closely re- 
sembling in external form granite or syenite, and is interesting 
from its perfect similarity to andesite which forms the great 
injected axes of the Cordillera of Chili. 

The stratification of the clay-slate is generally very obscure, 
whereas the cleavage is remarkably well defined, striking in the 
extreme east of the island W. and E. and even W.S.W. and 
E.N.E.; over the main portion, including the Darwin Range, 
W.N.W. and E.S.E. ; in the central and western portion of the 
Strait of Magellan N.W. and S.E. ; and north of the Strait 
nearly N. and S. 

Of the islands to the extreme south, it is interesting to note 
that on Wollaston Island slate and grauwacke can be distinctly 
traced passing into felspathic rocks and greenstones, including 
iron pyrites and epidote, but still retaining traces of cleavage 
with the usual strike and dip. One such metamorphosed mass 
is transversed by large vein-like masses of a beautiful mixture 
of green epidote, garnets, and white calcareous spar. On the 
northern portion of this same island, there are various ancient 
submarine volcanic rocks, consisting of amygdaloids with dark 
bole and agate, — of basalt with decomposed olivine, — of 
compact lava with glassy felspar, — and of a coarse conglomerate 
of red scoriae, parts being amygdaloidal with carbonate of lime. 
The southern part of Wollaston Island and the whole of 
Hermite and Horn Islands are formed of cones of greenstone. 

The external features of Tierra del Fuego are exceedingly 
varied. There are lowland flats with vast marshes and lakes 
more or less brackish, scrub-covered downs, bleak black peaty 
moors, practically impenetrable forests, and regions of ever- 
lasting snow probably never trodden by man. In the coast- 
line, there is also much diversity. This may be low shingly 
beach with the land dead flat behind it, or bare perpendicular 
clifl* washed at foot by the sea, or solid jagged rock overgrown 
to high-tide mark with impermeable thorn scrub, or else pre- 
cipitous mountain covered with forest or glacier to the very ocean. 



XIV PREFACE 

Early voyaf^ers record hardly any definite impressions of the 
island, even as seen from the sea. 

Describing the Strait, Drake says : — " The inountaines arise 
with such tops and spires into the aire, and of so rare a height, 
as they may well be accounted amongst the wonders of the 
world; enuironed, as it were, with many regions of congealed 
clouds and frozen meteors, whereby they are continually fed and 
increased, both in height and bignes, from time to time, retaining 
that which they haue once received, being little againe diminished 
by the heate of the sun, as being so farre from reflexion and so 
nio:h the cold and frozen res^ion." 

Cook says of the island's aspect to westward, in summer : — 
" This is the most desolate coast I ever saw. It seems entirely 
composed of rock mountains without the least appearance of 
vegetation. These mountains terminate in horrible precipices, 
whose craggy summits spire up to a vast height ; so that hardly 
anything in nature can appear with a more barren and savage 
aspect, than the whole of this country. The inland mountains 
were covered with snow, but those on the sea- coast were 
not." 

Down to the present time, the Survey of the "Adventure" and 
"Beagle" constitutes the most reliable and complete information 
on this region at all generally accessible. King's descriptions 
of the scenery are particularly powerful and vivid. 

Of Gabriel Channel, he says : — " Mount Buckland is a tall 
obelisk-like hill, terminating in a sharp needle-point, and lifting 
its head above a chaotic mass of ' reliquias diluviano},' covered 
with perpetual snow, by the melting of which an enormous 
glacier on the leeward, or north-eastern side, has been 
gradually formed. This icy domain is twelve or fourteen miles 
long, feeding, in the intermediate space, many magnificent 
cascades, which, for number and height, are not perhaps 
to be exceeded in an equal space of any part of the world. 
Within an extent of nine or ten miles, there are upwards 
of a hundred and fifty waterfalls, dashing into the Channel 




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PREFACE XV 

from a height of fifteen hundred or two thousand feet. The 
course of many is concealed, at first, by intervening trees, 
and, when half way down the descent, they burst upon the view, 
leaping, as it were, out of the wood. Some unite as they fall, 
and together are precipitated into the sea, in a cloud of foam ; so 
varied, indeed, are the forms of these cascades, and so great their 
contrast with the dark foliage of the trees which thickly cover 
the sides of the mountain, that it is impossible adequately to 
describe the scene. I have met with nothing exceeding the 
picturesque grandeur of this part of the Strait." 

Again, of Ainsworth Harbour : — " The bottom of the port is 
formed by an immense glacier, from which during the night, 
large masses broke off and fell into the sea with a loud crash. 
At high tide the sea water undermines, by thawing, large masses 
of ice, which, when the tide falls, want support, and, consequently, 
break ofi" bringiDg with them huge fragments of the glacier, and 
falling into the still basin with a noise like thunder." 

Mount Sarmiento is thus described by Graves: — "Rising 
abruptly from the sea, to a height of about 7,000 feet, it terminates 
in two sharp peaks, which seem absolutely in the sky : so lofty 
does the mountain appear when you are close to its base. Two 
thirds of the height are covered with snow ; and two enormous 
glaciers descend into the deep blue waters of the sea beneath. 
When the sun shines, it is a most brilliant and magnificent sight." 

From Port Famine, King mentions that "during 190 days, 
this wonderful mountain was only seen on twenty-five, and 
during seven days only was it constantly visible. On the 
remaining eighteen, portions only were seen, and those but for 
a very few hours at a time." 

Yet one more description will I quote, that of the scenery at 
night from Devil Island, in Beagle Channel, by Fitzroy : — 
" Between some of the mountains the ice extended so widely as to 
form immense glaciers, which were faced towards the Avater by 
lofty cliffs. During a beautifully fine and still night, the view 
from our fireside in this narrow channel, was most striking, 



XVI PREFACE 

though confined. Thickly -wooded and very steep mountains 
shut us in on all three sides, and opposite, distant only a few miles, 
rose an immense barrier of snow-covered mountains, on which the 
moon was shining brightly. The water between was so glassy 
that their outline might be distinctly traced in it : but a death- 
like stillness was sometimes broken by masses of ice falling from 
the opposite glaciers, which crashed, and reverberated around — 
like eruptions of a distant volcano." 

As men who had seen the world, the " tremendous and 
astonishing glaciers " of this region impressed the " Adventure " 
and " Beagle " Survey as one of its greatest wonders. 
FLORA For present purposes, the flora may be divided into two 

groups — that of the open parts of the island and that of the 
forest.* 

The principal growths met with in the open are a 
bush with sage-green leaves and white Marguerite -like flowers 
(Chiliotrwhum amelloideum) ; the Box-leafed Barberry [Berher'is 
huxifolid) ; the Black Currant {Rihes magellanicwn) ; the Crow- 
berry {Emjpetrum iiigrum) ; the Arbutus -like prickly-leafed 
Pernettya mucronata ; the delicately beautiful P. serpylUfolia ; 
and Azorella growing in massive vivid-green mounds. 

Of these, the most important is the Barberry — the Calafate 
as it is locally known — though not nearly so abundant as 
Chiliotrichum, which completely clothes the hill-sides and flats 
for vast areas. To the Calafate Drake refers, as a " small 
berry with us named currants, or as the comon sort call 
them small raisins, growing wonderfull piety," in an island, 
' ' where the Atlanticke Ocean and the South Sea meete in 

* It has only been by the grace of numerous distinguished botanists that I 
have been able to arrive at many of these names. From the staff of the 
Royal Gardens, Kew, I have received the most generous help, which I take 
this opportunity of associating with Colonel D. Prain ; Mr. W. B. Hemsley ; 
Dr. Otto Stapf; Mr. G. Massee; Mr. T. A. Sprague ; Mr. A. D. Cotton; 
and Mr. C. H. Wright. I have also received much help from the staff of the 
British Museum of Natural History — especially Dr. A. B. Rendle; Mr. A. 
Jepp; and Mr. James Britten. — R. C. 




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PREFACE XVll 

a most large and free scope." On the bare wind-swept flats 
the Calafate grows the merest stunted bush, sprawling along 
the ground hardly a foot in height ; but, in sheltered places in 
valleys and on the outskirts of forest, it develops into a tree 
as large as the White Thorn {Cratmgus oxyacantha). It 
is the most uncompromising mass of thorns imaginable, yet is 
the most beloved of all trees. In spring, its rich yellow sweet- 
smelling blossoms altogether pervade the air ; in summer its 
generous black-grape-coloured fruit is a blessing to man and 

beast and bird. 

" Quien come Calafate^ 
Vuelve por mas." 

The Black Currant, from which one is apt to look for so 
much on hearing its name, is a disappointment. The fruit 
never properly ripens. It is hard, juiceless, and insipid. 
I have eaten it on occasion, though never with any sense of 
satisfaction. Certain birds, however, appreciate it — in particular 
the thrush. 

The Crowberry is the principal growth of the moors, where 
it takes the place of Heather. Here the berries are bright red, 
whereas in the British Isles these are black. The leaves are the 
food of the grouse-like Attagis. 

Amongst the more noticeable Flowers are the Pink Primula 
(P. mac/ellanica) , about the first to show growth in spring; the 
Gladiolus -like SisyrincMum jiUfoUum with clusters of delicate 
bell-shaped sweet-smelling pink-and- maroon blossoms suspended 
by the merest threads ; a large single-headed Calceolaria ( G. 
darwlnii) ; the Mauve Pea {Lathyrus magellanicus) commonly 
found along the cliffs to the south of Useless Bay ; and in the 
beds of streams a luxuriant plant with white Daisy-like flowers 
growing in a cluster on a massive stalk {Senecio smifhii). On 
open grassland anyway sheltered, the Buttercup {Ranunculus) 
becomes a veritable cloth of gold. Cerastium arvense occurs 
in patches of dazzling whiteness. Celery (Apium) is exceedingly 
plentiful, also the Dandelion (Taraxacum) ; and both are largely 
eaten by the white settlers. 



XV] 11 PEEFACE 

111 Ferns, Bracken is absent ; but, instead of it, Lomaria 
alpina completely covers the downs in places. Owing to the 
frost, like many other things, it becomes a brick-red. 

Noticeable Tjichens are Sticta; Parmelia luguhris; Ramallna 
scopulorum; and Usnea of shorter growth than in the forest. 

Amongst the Grasses, there are such familiar and widely- 
distributed forms as Alopecurus alpinus, Plileiun alpmwn, Poa 
of several species including P. pratensis^ and Avra of several 
species including A. flexuosa. The Tussock {Dact]jlis coespitosa) 
is the most remarkable of all. Other Grasses are Arundo pilosa ; 
Hierochloe magellanica ; Avena leptostacliys ; Agrostis of many 
species ; Trisetum of several species ; Bromus ; Hordeum ; 
Triiicum elymus ; and Festuca of many species large and small, 
growing in paint-brush-like tufts, every head carrying a needle- 
point of varying degrees of fineness — F. gracilllma being 
perhaps the finest of all. 

No mention of the wonderful Tussock Grass will suffice 
without some account of its growth. "To all who know 
Grasses only in the pastures of England," Sir Joseph Hooker 
says, " patches of Tussock resemble nothing so much as 
groves of small low Palm-trees. This similarity arises from the 
matted roots of the individual plants springing in cylindrical 
masses, always separated down to the very base, and throwing 
out a waving head of foliage from each summit. The effect in 
walking through a large Tussock grove is very singular, from 
the uniformity in height of these masses, and the narrow spaces 
left between them, which form an effectual labyrinth ; leaves 
and sky are all that can be seen overhead, and their curious boles 
of roots and decayed vegetable matter on both sides, before and 
behind ; except now and then, where a penguin peeps forth from 
his hole, or the traveller stumbles over a huge sea-lion, stretched 
along the ground, blocking up his path. The peculiar mode of 
growth of this Grass enables it to thrive in pure sand, and near 
the sea, where it has the benefit of an atmosphere loaded with 
moisture, of soil enriched by decaying sea-weeds, of manure, 
which is composed of an abundant supply of animal matter in 




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PREFACE XIX 

tlie form of guano, and of the excrements of various birds, who 
deposit their eggs, rear their young, and find a habitation 
amongst the groves of Tussock. Its general locality is on the 
edges of those peat-bogs which approach the shore, where it 
contributes considerably to the formation of peat. Though not 
universal along the coast of these islands, the quantity is still 
prodigious, for it is always a gregarious Grass, extending in 
patches sometimes for nearly a mile, but seldom seen except 
within the influence of the sea air. This predilection for the 
ocean does not arise from an incapacity to grow and thrive 
except close to the salt water, but because other plants, not 
suited to the sea-shore, already cover the ground in more inland 
localities, and prevail over it ; I have seen the Tussock on 
inaccessible cliffs in the interior, having been brought there by 
the birds and afterwards manured by them ; and when cultivated, it 
thrives both in the Falklands and in England, far from the sea." 

The average height of the Tussock Grass is estimated by Dr. 
Cunningham, of the " N'assau " Survey, as between ten and 
twelve feet, and the mass of roots belonging to each from a foot 
to a foot and a half in height by two to three feet in diameter. 

Live stock are particularly partial to this Grass. The 
"sweet nutty -flavoured roots" are food even for man. 

Of the Fungi, the most conspicuous are the Common Field 
Mushroom (Agaricus campestris) and the Giant Puff ball (Lyco- 
perclon giganteurri). 

The forest is composed of two species of Beech, and Winter's 
Bark {^Drimys ivinteri) ; with undergrowth of Holly-leafed 
Barberry {Berheris ilicifolia)^ Black Currant, and, on the 
outskirts, large and luxuriant clumps of Fuchsia (^Fuchsia 
mageUanica) almost overhanging the sea. 

Fagus antarctica and F. hetuloides are the two Beeches, 
the former deciduous, the latter evergreen. It is curious to 
observe how these two trees occur in their several belts, or grow 
together in similar conditions, with no apparent reason govern- 
ing such distribution. 

c 2 



XX PREFACE 

The Antarctic Beech has extraordinary powers of adapting 
itself to varied conditions of life, and grows up to the greater 
altitude of the two. In sheltered positions, it attains some 
five feet in diameter and perhaps a height of eighty feet. On 
exposed slopes, it becomes a tangled scrub, so dense as to be 
impermeable ; so that the only method of negotiating it is by 
scrambling over, every now and then falling through. On 
mountain tops, it dwindles to the merest plant sprawling along 
the ground. King mentions a plant on Kater's Peak, which 
"though not more than two inches high, occupied a space of 
four or five feet in diameter." 

The Evergreen Beech is of straighter growth, with smoother 
bark. In Nose Peak forest, I saw many trees four feet six 
inches in diameter and about one hundred feet high. Of this 
Beech, King says : — '' Trees of three feet in diameter are abun- 
dant ; of four feet there are many ; and there is one tree (perhaps 
the very same noticed by Commodore Byron) which measures 
seven feet in diameter for seventeen feet above the roots, and 
then divides into three large branches, each of which is three 
feet through." 

As to the relative sizes of these two Beeches, the widest 
divergence of opinion prevails as the result of individual 
experience. In solution of this, Colonel D. Prain suggests that 
" though both species grow together throughout the region 
where they occur, one species may in particular localities 
attain larger dimensions than the other, while again in different 
localities their sizes are reversed." 

Winter's Bark is recognizable by its smooth greyish-green bark 
and Magnolia-like leaves. I did not observe this tree any distance 
inland, nor anywhere approaching the size recorded by Captain 
Stokes from Chili. At Port Xaviei-, a tree felled by his wood- 
cutters measured eighty-seven feet in length and three feet five 
inches in circumference. The peculiar properties of Drimys 
ivinteri are mentioned by several of the early voyagers. 
Hawkins says : — " This Tree carrieth his fruit in clusters Jike 



PREFACE XXI 

a Haw-thorne, but that it is greene, each being of the bignesse 
of a Pepper- corne, and euery of them contayning within four 
or five granes, twice as bigge as a Musterd-seed, which broken 
are white within, as the good Pepper, and bite much like it, but 
hotter. The barke of this Tree hath savour of all kinde of 
Spices together, most comfortable to the Stomack, and held to 
be better than any Spice whatsoeuer." 

The Holly-leafed Barberry grows so densely in places as to 
make parts of the forest absolutely impenetrable. Its thorns are 
many times more formidable than those of Berheris huxifolia. 

Parasitic on trees is the Mistletoe-like Myzodendron pundu- 
latum. A hoary grey Lichen (Usnea), streaming in long festoons, 
imparts to the forest a truly eerie and ghost-like appearance. 

Fungi are one of the wonders of the forest. Mr. George 
Massee, who has himself studied this flora in Tierra del Fuego, 
considers the Tree Morels especially interesting. Cyttaria 
darwinii, C. herterii^ and C. hookeri^ he says, grow on living 
branches of different species of Beech {Fagus) ; and are also 
met with on species of Fagus in Tasmania and New Zealand. 
Everywhere these Fungi are a staple article of food to the 
aboriginals. Polyjporus fuegianus forms large bracket-like out- 
growths on the trunks of trees ; and Fistulma antarctica — 
a close ally of the British Beefsteak Fungus (i^. hepatica), 
which it is said to surpass in delicacy of flavour — also occurs 
abundantly in similar situations. 

There are not many Flowers. The most beautiful is a white 
Snowdrop-like Orchis ( Godonorchis lessomi), with a faint sweet 
smell. The Yellow Violet {Viola maculata) is exceedingly 
pretty, but scentless. What interested me more than all was 
the tiny Ruhus geoides, growing flat on Moss-covered boulders. 

Some four species of Ferns occur : — a variety of the Avidely 
distributed very variable Aspidium aculeatum; Asplenium magel- 
lanicum; Hymenophyllum wilsoni; and Lomaria. 

At the lower altitudes, Mosses — principally Bartramia — 
completely cover everything like a heavy fall of snow, so 



XXll PREFACE 

that, except for large tree trunks, it is impossible to see what 
lies beneath. Clambering over these, long since decayed and 
become the consistency of soft mould, it is a common thing to 
sink in up to the hips. " No soil is to be discovered," Lieutenant 
Sky ring very aptly remarks ; " the shrubs, and even the trees 
which are of large growth, rise out of Moss, or decomposed 
vegetable substances." 

The Alga3 include the gigantic Macrocystls j^yTifera, not only 
the greatest of all Seaweeds, but the longest growth known in 
all the vegetable kingdom. It attains a length of many hundred 
feet, growing from the bottom in deep water and trailing along 
the surface. Other very large Seaweeds of this region are 
Durvillea and Lessonia. Red Seaweeds are represented by 
several species of Delesseria and Nitophyllum. The green 
Lettuce-like widely-distributed Vliia latt'ssima, of course, occurs. 

Of Macrocystis Sir Joseph Hooker says, as the result ol 
his observations on the "Erebus" and "Terror" Antarctic 
Expedition : — " In the Falkland Islands, Cape Horn, and 
Kerguelen's Land, where all the harbours are so belted with 
its masses that a boat can hardly be forced through, it generally 
rises from eight to twelve fathom water, and the fronds extend 
upwards of one hundred feet upon the surface. We seldom, 
however, had opportunities of measuring the largest specimens, 
though washed up entire on the shore ; for on the outer coasts of 
the Falkland Islands, where the beach is lined for miles with 
entangled cables of Macrocystis^ much thicker than the human 
body, and twined of innumerable strands of stems coiled together 
by the rolling action of the surf, no one succeeded in unravelling 
from the mass any one piece upwards of seventy or eighty feet 
long ; as well might w^e attempt to ascertain the length of hemp 
fibre by unlaying a cable." The greatest length arrived at by 
the expedition was about seven hundred feet ; but, far larger 
growths than this were observed at an earlier period, and not 
measured for want of opportunity — nor were these thought 
anything extraordinar}', in view of the report that Macrocystis 



PREFACE XXlll 

was known to attain a length of upwards of a thousand feet, 
which Sir Joseph Hooker does not seem inclined to question, but 
rather confirms, for he expresses the opinion that this plant is of 
indefinite growth. 

No great fossil animals have been discovered in Tierra del FAUNA 
Fueo:o, although such should exist in continuation of those 
occurring in the Patagonian Pampas — such as Megatherium^ 
Scelidotherium^ Mylodon^ Glyptodon^ Hippidium^ Ifacrauchenia, 
Toxodon, Nesodon, Megamys — so abundantly, that Darwin states 
his belief no deep trench can be cut in a line across these 
without intersecting some such remains. 

Living Mammals are extraordinarily few. 

Man is represented by the Onas in the north and east, the 
Faghans in the south, and the Alakalufs in the west. It seems 
to be a prevailing belief that the native races of Tierra del Fuego 
are the most degraded of mankind — due probably to voyagers 
to these regions having confused the Onas with the canoe tribes. 
However much such an imputation may apply to the latter, it 
cannot with any justice include the Onas ; for they are a 
magnificent race, little inferior in stature to the Tehuelchs of 
Patagonia, who are the giants of all mankind ; and like them, 
they live entirely by the chase on foot with bows and arrows, 
where the Tehuelchs are horsemen using the bolas. If the arts 
of life of the Onas are primitive, it must be remembered that for 
unknown ages they have been a people cut off from intercourse 
with others. Judged from the point of view of the land they 
inhabit, they are perfect. Living a nomadic existence in these 
terrific elements, with only a screen of skins to windward where 
they camp for the time being, they are able to supply all 
their needs in food and clothing by the chase and by the 
natural produce of the land, and at that maintain about the 
finest physique seen in Man. Such weapons as they possess 
are the best possible to them — mighty bows strung with 
Guanaco sinew, arrows made from the forest barberry with heads 
marvellously chipped from glass. For tools they rely on Nature 



XXIV PREFACE 

at first liand — stones for anvils and liammer.s, shells for knives 
and rasps and pliers, shoulder blades of the Guanaco for 
spades, pumiceons tuffs and hone-shaped limestones for grinding 
purposes. Fire they obtain from pyrites, with dried Lijcoperdoii 
for tinder. 

Shortly after my arrival at Useless Bay Settlement, when 
skinnino' a bird one morning', I saw an Ona for the first time. 
Conscious somehow of a strange presence. I looked round and 
beheld a gigantic form robed in shaggy furs from head to foot — 
erect, motionless, silent —regarding me with a gaze so impressive 
and intense, that as I encountered it, my whole being experienced 
a shock. A Man indeed ! What an absolute reality in every 
respect ! Every character essential to an entirely independent 
existence he possesses in striking degree, enabling him to live and 
thrive in a land where Man of another race in similar circum- 
stance would die outright. A frame physically and constitutionally 
as strong as can be, resource in any emergency, determination, 
courage recking nothing of cost to life or limb in the achieve- 
ment of purpose, untiring patience, endurance to the end, 
intelligence the outcome of instinct and reason so combined as to 
place him on equal terms alike with Man and the lower creation 
— all these are evident in him at a glance. AVhat he has gone 
through in life is splendidly testified to in his person, whether 
from exposure to the elements, or in warring with his own kind 
— even also to a broken arm from the bullet of White Men, who 
afterwards dragged him from their horses with the lazo and left 
him for dead. But, what impresses one most of all is his 
magnificent dignity and reserve — so natural, as to be impossible of 
compromise. That stern, calm, thoughtful, deeply-lined, awfully 
solemn face — so full of expression of all that is greatest and best 
in Man, yet manifesting nothing evil — will dwell with me to my 
dying day. 

" The solitary savage feels silently, and acutely," says 
Washington Irving in his generous tribute to the Red Man. 
" His sensibilities are not diftused over so wide a surface as those 



PREFACE XXV 

of the White Man, but they run in steadier and deeper channels. 
His pride, his affections, his superstitions, are all directed towards 
few objects. Free from the restraints and requirements of 
polished life, aud in a great degree a solitary and independent 
being, he obeys the impulses of his inclinations on the dictates of 
his judgment ; and thus the attributes of his nature, being freely 
indulged^ grow singly great and striking." 

To the disgrace of this age, the Onas, the evolution of their 
land fr^m time unknown, have been deliberately all -but- 
exterminated within the space of a few years, and that quite 
recently, by fellow Men from over the seas ? Of Man it is 
said that he is the highest and lowest being in creation. Can 
it be said of those responsible for this crime, as is pleaded 
for the Red Man by the Poet of the Northland, that : — 

''Every human heart is human, 
In even savage bosoms 
There are longings, yearnings, strivings. 
For the good they comprehend not. 
Feeble and helpless, 
Grroping blindly in the darkness. 
They touch God^s right hand " ? 

I appeal to all able to do anything, to do what is possible for 
the preservation of those Onas who remain. 

In the fauna of Tierra del Fuego — Mammals especially — it is 
remarkable that, although forms occurring in the island are met 
with almost — if not quite — without exception on the mainland, 
the converse is by no means the case. The Puma (Feh's concolor) ; 
Pampas Cat {F. jjajeros); Skunk (Conepatus) ; Grey Fox 
(^Canis griseus) ; Huemul {Xenelaphus hisidcus) ; Yiscacha 
(Lagostomus trichodactylus) ; the Cavndce — in Cavia and Doli- 
chotis ; and Armadillo {Dasypus) are absent. 

The largest land animal is the Guanaco (Auchema hiianacus), 
until lately very plentiful, noW' — like the Onas — nearly extinct. 

The Guanaco is of the Camel family, and to the Camel bears 

a closer resemblance than to any other animal ; although of 

d 



XXVI PKEFACE 

lighter build and more graceful, reminding one much of a Deer ; 
and also of a Sheep, in the shape and carriage of its ears and in 
its cinnamon-brown and snow-white fleece of the finest wool. 
What the Bison was to the Red Man of Nortii America, tlie 
Guanaco is to the Ona of Tierra del Fuego and to the Tehuelch 
of Patagonia — food, clothing, and equipment. Short of Man, as 
a feature in the landscape and for its remarkable personality, 
this creature stands out above all others. No hill-top com- 
manding the surrounding country seems complete without a 
Guanaco sentry, of which perhaps only the head and neck are 
visible, standing in relief against the sky-line. Often does one 
hear the weird quavering neigh, borne to one up or down or 
across the wind, without being able to distinguish the familiar 
form. If directly approached, Guanacos usually make off in 
headlong flight. If, however, no notice be taken of them, they 
remain where they are ; or, impelled by their extraordinary 
curiosity, come to one, and follow one in a parallel line for miles, 
within close rifle shot, lolloping along at their easy gi-aceful 
canter, and indulging in those grotesque antics for which these 
creatures are notorious. 

The Guanaco is in appearance the very personification of 
gentleness — with its innocent-looking form possessed of no 
apparent means of offence, its lustrous Gazelle-like eye, and its 
soft woolly fleece. No animal could be more deceptive. In a 
wild state amongst its own kind, and in captivity — no matter 
how forbearingly treated — it is the least tractable of any 
creature known to me. A pair of wild Guanacos can often 
be seen or heard engaged in desperate combat, biting and 
tearing and rolling over one another on the ground, uttering 
their gurgling bubbling cries of rage. Of a pair so engaged, 
I shot one whose tail had then been bitten off in the encounter. 
In confinement, the Guanaco charges one with his chest or 
rears up on his hind legs to strike one with his fore-feet, besides 
biting and spitting up the contents of the stomach. 

There is, then, a gigantic Fox (Canis magellankus) , as large 



PREFACE XXVll 

almost as the Wolf of the northern hemisphere, destructive to 
Sheep, and a very bold robber in camps. Another Carnivore 
is the Otter {Lutra jolatensis). The Sea Lion or Eared Seal 
{^Otaria juhata) is abundant on the coast, and the carcases 
are often seen on the beach. A Bat {Vesperugo magellanicus) 
is sometimes, though very rarely, met with. Quite one of the 
features of the land is the Mole-like Ctenomys magellanicus^ 
which honeycombs the ground in the open country to 
such an extent as to make it a burden to ride or walk. It 
is remarkable that where Sheep have been herded in any 
numbers, this animal has been trampled out of existence. 
Another Rodent (Bhithrodon) is still plentiful on the flats. 
In the seaweed on the sea-shore I obtained a small buff-coloured 
Mouse {Ahodon). Whales are plentiful in these waters, from 
those of the largest size known to some of the smallest. On the 
beach in Useless Bay I saw the remains of one — the Blue 
Whale {Balcenoptera sihhaldii)^ Sir William Turner suggests — 
which, when entire, measured eighty-seven feet in length. I saw 
another of similar size in San Sebastian Bay. By white settlers 
the vertebrae are frequently utilized as stools. In Whiteside 
Channel, I saw Whales blowing in all directions. In more than 
usually stormy weather, I have seen them in Useless Bay. 
Amongst the smaller species is a Black Dolphin (Glohicephalus), 
numbers of which may sometimes be seen dead along shore, in 
places three or four together. Large creatures as they are — 
some ten or twelve feet long — their wholesale destruction, due to 
no apparent cause, presents an extraordinary spectacle. 

Birds are the most important fauna of all, although the 
majority are only summer visitors — even in the case of Geese and 
Ducks. Orders represented are : — Accipitres, Striges, Psittaci, 
Pici, Passeres, Herodiones, Anseres, Ralli, Limicolse, Tubinares, 
Steganopodes, Pygopodes, Sphenisci. The most numerous in 
species are Passeres, Limicolas, and Anseres. Psittaci and Pici 
are represented only by a single member. Prominent main- 
land orders in Tinami and Struthiones do not occur. 

d 2 



XXVlll PREFACE 

Reptiles appear to have no other representative than a little 
green Lizard {Liolcemus magellanicus) . 

Amphibia, as far as I am aware, are totally absent. 

Of the Fishes, Dr. A. Glinther observes that : — " In Marine 
forms, many representatives of northern genera reappear : such 
as the Spiny Dog Fish (AcantMas vulgaris), species of Raja, 
Sehastes^ Agonus, Mugil, Ly codes, Merluccms, Myxine ; while the 
northern Cottoids are replaced by forms similar in outward 
appearance, but belonging to different families, namely Aphritis, 
Eleginus, Choenichthys, BovicJithys, Dissostichus, Notothenia, 
Harjjagifer. Other genera peculiar to this fauna are a Ray 
(Psammohatts)^ Maynea allied to Lycodes, and one of Flatfishes 
{Pleuronecttdos), a family which generally is poorly represented 
in the Antarctic region. Most of these Fishes are edible, but 
among them the Atherines {Athenm'chthys)^ misnamed Smelts, 
take the first place." 

" As regards Freshwater Fishes, the Antarctic region generally 
is poor in variety of types ; and Tierra del Fuego does not differ 
from the mainland, except in being still more pauperized. The 
two characteristic families of this region, the Haplochitonidce 
and Galaxiidce. — of which the former are the analogues of the 
Northern Salmonidce, and the latter of the Esocidce — are both 
represented in the island, as far as we know at present, by four 
or five species, all of which are of small or even very small size." 

Fishes above all others likely to impress travellers are the 
beautiful delicate-looking Atherinichthys latidavia, so often 
alluded to by voyagers, one of the very best Fishes I have eaten 
in any part of the world ; and a Grey Mullet {Mugil), found 
alike in the sea and in freshwater streams, and perhaps identical 
with M. ceplialus of the northern hemisphere. 

Although I put myself to considerable trouble in collecting 

Spiders, I have only been able to determine the families of 

these"^. Families accounted for are : — Lycosidce (Wolf Spiders) ; 

TheridiidcB (Line Spinners); Archmdce ; Argiopidce (Orb 

* By the kindness of Mr. A. S. Hirst and ]\Ir. F. P. Smith.— R. C. 



PREFACE XXIX 

Spinners) ; Cluhionidoe^ Drassidce, AgelenidcB, Dictynidoe (all 
Tube Spinners, as also are Lycosidoe) ; Atypidm (Purse- Web 
Spiders) ; Thomisidoe (Crab Spiders).* 

Principally, the species are Drassidce and Cluhionidoe. 
Whether there are any novelties remains to be seen. Of known 
rare forms, there is at least one of exceptional interest in 
Mecysmauchenius segmentatus, representing the Archceidce, a 
family of two existing species, the other of which inhabits 
Madagascar. 

Insects have a more than ordinary element of interest in such 
a region as this. 

Hymenoptera, whose life and soul depend so much on sun- 
shine and warmth, are very few. Eight species collected by me 
are referred by Colonel Bingham to the families Apidce, Eumemdce, 
Ichneumonidce^ and Proctotrujjidce. The most conspicuous insect, 
not plentiful but met with here and there as a solitary individual, 
is a large thickly-furred orange-coloured Bumble Bee (Bombus 
dahlhomii). Another of the Apidce is a Solitary Bee, genus 
Osmia. Honey Bees are entirely absent. Solitary Wasps 
{EumenidcE) have a representative in Odynerus vespiformis. 
In Ichneumonidoe, there is the ferocious-looking Cryptus helli- 
cosus having an ovipositor some two and a half inches long. 

In Lepidoptera, it is not surprising to find very few Butter- 
flies. Indeed, to take a Butterfly at all in these furious elements 
was to me a novel experience. It was only at intervals of many 
days, or sometimes of several weeks, that I was able to do so. 
Four species were all I could collect; two Nymphalidce and two 
Pieridce. Of these, the most striking is a little Fritillary 
{Argynms cytheris). The remainder consist of a small Brown 
{Neosatyrus hoisduvalii) ; a White {Tatochila argyrodice) ; and a 

* As a help to the field naturalist who may have no knowledge of Spiders, 
I have asked Mr. R. I. Pocock to determine these as far as is practicable on 
bionomical lines. He has very kindly done so ; but, it is only right to add, as 
he says, that however descriptive of life habit, several of the names are not 
good from the zoological standpoint. — R. C. 



XXX PREFACE 

Dark Clouded Yellow ( Colias cunmnghami), whose female is 
constantly pale. 

Moths are more plentiful. Of these, Sir George Hampson 
observes that they are what might be expected to occur, being 
allied to the insects of the higher Andes with a close parallel 
to the fauna of New Zealand. Families represented are 
principally Noctuidce^ Geometridce^ and Pyralidce.^ with a few 
TortricidoB^ Tineidce^ Saturnidm^ and Hepialidce. The only 
family apparently absent which would naturally be looked 
for is that of the ArctiadcB. 

The Moths are throughout remarkable for sombre plumage. 
Not one in my collection has any vivid colouring. The 
commonest species, perhaps, is a Geometrid, Lisso2:)s{s virgellata^ 
whose ghostly forms flitting in all directions enhance the gloom 
of night. An insect which interested me more than any is a tiny 
day-flying Noctuid, Anarta trisema, taken in bright sunshine at 
the same time as the Fritillary. Feltia clerica is a fairly 
large and handsome Noctuid, of nocturnal habit, likely to be 
remarked as something out of the ordinary. A large Swift, 
near to or may be identical with Hepialus luteicorms, of 
which I obtained a single example, is the largest Moth taken by 
me. A small Swift {^H. fuscus) is fairly abundant. 

With all there was to do in other ways, 1 could not undertake 
the systematic collecting of Diptera. Hardly is it possible to 
arrive at any correct estimate of this order from the results 
achieved by other expeditions, as the collecting done hitherto in 
the island is of too scanty a nature, with the exception of the 
collection made by the French Mission to Cape Horn — and in 
his work on this. Bigot records no localities. Provisionally, the 
following families may be taken to occur : — Muscidce (House-Flies, 
Blue-Bottles, etc.); Syrphidce (Hover- Flies) ; DolicliopodidoB ; 
EmpidcB ; Ja5rtmV/cc (Horse-Flies) ; Rhyphidce; Tipididw (Crane 
Flies) ; Limnohidce ; PsychodidcB ; Chironomid(B (Midges) ; Bihi- 
onidcB ; MycetophilidcB (Fungus Midges). Cidicidoe (Gnats or 
Mosquitos) appear to be absent. 



PREFACE XXXI 



Of the insects taken by myself, the greatest personality is 
a Horse-Fly, determined for me by Mr. E. E. Austen as Tabanus 
magellanicus^ which attacks horses — doubtless also the guanaco, 
which is probably its original victim. 

In Aphaniptera, I obtained a rare Flea {StepJianocirciis 
minervd) parasitic on Ctenomys. 

Coleoptera are represented in Cicindelidce^ Carabidce, Sta^jhy- 
linidce, Siljjhidce, NitiduUdoe^ Coccinellidce^ Dascillidce, Lampyridce, 
Telephoridce, Elateridce, Tenebrionidm^ LucanidcB, Geotrupidce^ 
MelolontMdoe^Rutelidce^ Ceramhyddoe, Chrysomelidce^ Curculionidce. 
Large groups represented only by a single species are Longi- 
cornia and Phytopliaga. Important families apparently absent 
are Copridoe and Aphodiidce. 

Some fifty species are accounted for in my collection. 

In naming these as far as possible, some being new, 
Mr. G-ilbert Arrow tells me they consist in a nearly equal degree 
of forms characteristic of the eastern plains and the western 
slopes of temperate South America, the latter constituent a very 
peculiar one showing distinct relationship with the Australian 
fauna. 

About the greatest personality is Agrius fallaciosus, one 
of the Tiger Beetles (^GicindelidcE) . The handsomest insect is 
Ceroglossus sufuralis, one of the Ground Beetles {Carahidce). 
Amhlyopmus fuegensis, in Staphylinidcs, is an extraordinary 
departure from other Coleoptera, in that it is parasitic on 
mammals. Of its host in this case I have no certain knowledge, 
but beHeve it to have come from Ctenomys. Taurocerastes pata- 
gonicus, the single representative in Geotrupidce, is rare. I took 
but two examples, both males. MicroplopJiorus magellamcus, 
the Longicorn, is most destructive to forest trees. Its larvae 
are a chief food of the woodpecker. GhrysomeUdce are repre- 
sented by Microtheca ochroloma. An insect likely to excite 
interest when met with is the handsome glossy-black wonder- 
fully granulated Nyctelia granulata, one of the Cellar Beetles 
{Tenehrionidce) . Another of this family, common under all sorts 



XXXll PREFACE 

of objects, is the clumsy Emalodera ohesa. My first series was 
taken from under the remains of a whale on the beach in San 
Sebastian Bay. Plentiful on tree-trunks on the outskirts of 
forest is the jet-black spider-like slowly-moving extraordinarily 
hard-dying Bhyephenes IcEvirostris^ one of the AYeevils {Curcu- 
Uonidce). Forty-eight hours in normally strong cyanide fumes 
does not certainly kill this insect. Silpha higuttula is common in 
carrion. The powerful Sclerostomus femoratus^ one of the Stag 
Beetles (Lucanidcu), is found buried deep in rotten tree trunks. 
On the open flats a Brown Chafer (Aulacopalpus pi'h'colh's) , 
is a principal prey of the burrowing owl in spring. A smaller 
Brown Chafer (Sericoides), and Haplous segmentarius in Tele- 
plioridce^ are exceedingly plentiful on umbelliferous flowers — 
particularly celery. 

In Hemiptera, I collected but four species, representing 
PentatomidcBj Reduviadoe^ Saldidce, and Aradidce — in Isodermus 
gayi^ very abundant under the bark of trees. 

In Neuroptera, I saw only jEschia diffim's, which I after- 
wards took at Punta Arenas, and again on board the " Asuncion 
de Larrinaga " when lying at anchor five miles ofl' Monte Video. 

Eemarkable Crustacea are a large Rock Lobster (Pah'nurus) , 
a great delicacy of the ocean ; and a formidable Crab (Lithodes 
antarctica) whose shell is completely armed with thorny spines. 
A Wood Louse (Sfyloniscus magellanicus) is abundant on land. 

All the main classes of Mollusca are represented — ]\lr. Edgar 
Smith informs me — namely, Amphineura, Gastropoda, Scapho- 
poda, Pelecypoda, Cephalopoda. 

Conspicuous Marine species are : — Troplion geversianits, 
Acanthina imhricata^ A. calcai\ Valuta magellanica^ V. anciUa^ 
BidJia squalida^ Argohuccmum vexillum, A. mageUanicum, Pho- 
tinula cceridescens, Patella cenea^ Nacella mytilina, Sip)honaria 
lessom\ S. redimicidum^ Mactra marcida^ Darina solenoides, 
Chione exalbida, Modiolarca trapezina^ Mytilus magellanicus^ 
Pecfen patagom'cus, P. corneus. The most abundant are a large 
* For this name I am indebted to Mr. W. L. Distant. — R. C 




o 
o 

h 

IX) 



PREFACE XXXlll 

Mussel (Mytilus magellanicus) and a large Limpet {Patella 
cenea). A large and handsome Volute [Voluta mageUanicd) is 
the most striking of all. 

Freshwater and Land species, as might be expected in so 
unfavourable a climate, are insignificant in number and im- 
portance : the former are represented by Limnoea and Ghilina ; 
the latter by Perronia^ Succmea^ and AmpJiidoxa^ all small. 

Earth Worms obtained by me in various parts of the island, 
have been determined by Mr. F. E. Beddard as Acanthodiiltdce, 
genus Chilota, known to occm' in Patagonia and South Africa. 

" Whoever you are, come travel with me ! LAST 

Travelling- with me you find what never tires — WUJXUb 

The Earth never tires, 

The Earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first, 
Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first, 
Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well 

enveloped, 
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than 
words can tell.^' 

Quaint simple lines are these of Walt Whitman, yet hoAv 
profound is the truth they convey ! 

As a wanderer in many lands, I live more and more in 
distant scenes. It is, then, I find, ever the elemental which 
constitutes the magnet of attraction, rather than the work of 
man — the primeval forest or desert or ocean rather than the great 
city ; the giant tree rather than the imposing building; solitude 
and silence rather than the stir and hum of the vast community. 

In the many complexities and unrealities of modern civiliza- 
tion, I seem to have no abiding place. 

Often, and often, am I back in Tierra del Fuego. 

Distance and time are annihilated. All is with me in sense, 
just as when there : — the exquisitely subdued tone of everything 
in land and sky and sea; — the soft sunlight resembling bright 
moonlight rather than the light of day ; — the solemn enduring 



XXXI V . PREFACE 



^S^rey skies drawn out from horizon to horizon ; — the Southern 
Cross high overhead, and that mysterious Black Ck)ud ; — the 
silent snows eternally bearing witness to the sky ; — the utter 
desolation of the sea-shore ; — the gloom of the forest, startled 
only by the crash of falling timber or the cry of Scytalopus ; — 
the scent of the Calafate ; — the roar and rattle and swish of the 
wind ; — the plaintive quavering neigh of the Guanaco ; — the 
gaggle of the Greese ; — the harsh screams of the Tero-Tero ; — 
the silvery ''^ Pi-yi^^ of the Oyster-catcher ; — the wail of Eudro- 
mias ; — the ''^ Tink-Tinh^^ of the Ibis ; — the petulant screech of 
the Chimango ; — the way of the Burrowing Owl ; — the friendly 
little Gentrites ; — the Short-eared Owl and the ilshy Harrier 
beating the marshes together in daytime. 

Amidst this environment I see the forms of fellow Men, 
with whom I cannot but associate generous Horses and faithful 
Dogs, Men whom one came to meet only to part from as 
quickly — 



(C 



Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing " 



— yet with whom, nevertheless, through mutual goodwill and 
assistance freely offered and as freely accepted, a bond of 
sympathy was constituted which can never be severed, even 
though our paths may never converge at any future time. 

Memories of friends such as these are at once precious and 
sad. If communion be possible between spirit and spirit in 
mortal Man, they know how often they have place in my 
thoughts, even as I hope and believe I have place in theirs. 

Leighton Buzzard 
1907 



INTEODUCTION 

The Birds dealt with in this work do not claim to represent 
absolutely every species occurring in Tierra del Fuego ; but they 
are, I believe, the most comprehensive collection yet made in the 
island, and include many recorded from there for the first time. 

Such as it is, this collection is the work of my own hands. 
Alone as I was, an amateur, these results were not attained 
otherwise than slowly and laboriously, indeed wearily enough 
at times ; for although the greatest consideration was shown 
me by the white settlers, conditions of life in this region 
are hardly conducive to work of the kind. Fellow travellers, 
then, who have practical experience of what Bird-collecting 
means in the earth's bye-ways — where so many pursuits claim 
their share of attention, and there is always one's life to live 
from day to day — will understand something of the effort 
involved. 

As to this book, it is of the nature of a work of the kind that, 
no matter how assiduously or how long one may apply oneself, 
there abides with the conscientious author the knowledge at 
heart that the result is not as satisfactory as he could wish. 
Such is my feeling. The further I have progressed the more have 
I come to realize the immensity of the subject, to say nothing of 
collateral questions arising by the way. Its scope, in fact, is 
well nigh infinite. All I claim for this effort in the direction 
of comprehending it is that I have done my best. 

In working at my Birds in the British Museum of Natural 
History, all facilities of access to the collection there have been 
accorded me by Dr. R. B. Sharpe and his staff. 

To the Zoological Society and to the Royal Geographical 

Society I am indebted for unstinted use of their valuable 

e 2 



XXXVl INTRODUCTION 

libraries, which I shall always associate pleasantly with 
their respective librarians, Mr. F. H. Waterhouse and Mr. 
Edward Ileawood. 

1 have, also, had reference to such books as I wished in the 
British Museum. 

To Mr. Quaritch I owe publication on a scale which would 

never have been attempted by myself alone ; nor carried into 

being but for the loyal collaboration and able direction of his 

assistant. 

THE AUTHOR 



INDEX 



PAGE 



ACCIPITRBS 




Poljborus thams 


I 


Milvago cliiniango 


7 


Circus cinereus 


10 


Bufceo erythronotus . 


12 


Gerano^tus melanoleucus . 


15 


Falco fusco-caBrulescens 


17 


Tinnunculus cinnamominus 


19 


STRIGES 




Strix flammea . 


21 


A.sio brachyotas 


. 26 


Bubo magellanicus 


. 30 


Speotyto cunicularia . 


. 31 


Glaucidiam nanum . 


. 35 



PSITTACI 
Conurus smaragdinus 



36 



PIC I 




Ipocrantor magellanicas . 


. 37 


PASSERES 




Turdus magellanicus 


39 


Troglodytes hornensis 


40 


Cistotborus platensis . 


43 


Antbus correndera . 


45 


Tacbycineta meyeni . 


48 


Atticora cyanoleuca . 


48 


Chrysomitris barbata 


49 


Zonotrichia canicapilla 


51 


Phrygilus gayi . 


52 


,, melanoderus 


64 


Carseus aterrimus 


56 


Trupialis militaris 


57 


Agriornis livida 


59 



Myiotberetes rufiventris . 


PAGE 

. 60 


Tffiniopfcera pyrope . 


. 62 


Muscisaxicola macloviana . 


64 


Centrites niger . 


65 


Anaeretes parulus 


68 


Elainea albiceps 


70 


Geositta cunicularia . 


72 


Cinclodes patagonicus 


. 74 


,, fuscus 


7Q 


Oxyurus spinicauda . 


78 


Siptornis anthoides . 


79 


Pygarrbicus albigularis 


80 


Scytalopus magellanicus . 


81 



HERODIONES 

Nycticorax cyanocepbalus . 84 

Theristicus melanopis . . 86 
Pboenicopterus ignipalliatus . 89 

ANSERES 

Cygnus nigricoUis ... 90 

Coscoroba Candida ... 92 

Cbloepbaga antarctica . .93 

„ magellanica . . 94 

,, dispar ... 95 

„ rubidiceps . . 99 

,, poliocepbala . . 101 

Anas cristata .... 102 

Mareca sibilatrix . . .104 

Dafila spinicauda . . 106 

Querquedula flavirostris . . 107 

„ versicolor . . 109 

Tachyeres cinereus . . .110 

RALLI 
Fulica leucoptera .115 



XXXVlll 

LIMICOL^ 


PAGE 


TU BIN ARES 


PAGE 


Belonopterus chilensis 


. 116 


Pelecanoidcs urinatrix 


. 142 


Eudroraias raodesta . 


. 118 


Diomedea exulans 


. 144 


^gialitis falklandica 
Pluvianellus sociabilis 


. 120 
. 121 


STBGANOPODES 




Hoematopus leucopus 

,, ater 
Gallinao^o paraguayas 
Tringa fuscicollis 
Limosa hndsonica 


. 123 
. 126 
. 126 

. 128 
. 130 


Phalacrocorax brasiliaims . 
,, magellanicus 

PYGOPODES 


. 149 
. 150 


Attagis malouiniis 
Thinocorus orbignyanus 
,, rumicivorus 


. 130 
. 134 
. 135 


Podiceps americanus 
^chmophorns major 


. 151 
. 152 


Sterna hirundinacea . 
Larus glaucodes 


. 137 

. 140 


SPHENISCI 




,, dominicanus . 


. 141 


Spbeniscns magellanicus . 


. 153 



ILLUSTEATIONS 



Plates of Birds 



GeranoEetus melanoleucus 
Glaucidium nanum 
Ipocrantor magellanicus 
Cistothorus platensis 
Chrysomitris barbata 
Phrygilas gayi 

„ melaiioderus 

Trupialis militaris . 
Agriornis livida 
Myiotheretes rufiventris 
Centrites niger 
Anaeretes parahis . 
Oxyurus spinicauda 
Pygarrbicus albigularis 
Scytalopus magellanicus 
Tberisticus melanopis 
Cbloepbaga dispar . 
Anas cristata . 
Pluvianellus sociabilis 
Attagis malouiniis . 
Podiceps americanus 



To face p 


15 


5' 

1 - 


51 

5^ 


35 

37 


!1 


5'' 


43 


11 


55 


49 


5? 


51 


53 


)• 


)5 


55 


55 


>5 


57 


5) 


55 


59 


)? 


55 


bl 


55 


55 


67 


5> 


55 


69 


5) 


55 


79 


5? 


55 


81 


55 


55 


83 


55 


55 


87 


5' 


55 


95 


5? 


55 


103 


)5 


55 


121 


5) 


55 


131 


55 


55 


151 



Landscapes 

Nose Peak Forest ....... 

Tbe Sea-sbore at tbe Entrance to Admiralty Sound 

Tbe Summit of tbe Sierra Carmen Sylva 

A River Pool in tbe Forest ..... 

Tbe Pampas of tbe Lowlands .... 

In tbe Sierra Carmen Sylva ..... 

An Antarctic Beecb ...... 

A Silent Pool 



Frontispiece 
To face p. ix 
xi 
xiii 

XV 

xvii 

xix 

,xxxiii 



55 
55 
55 
55 

55 
55 



55 
55 
>5 
55 
5,5 



xl 



TLLURTTUTTONS 



Tlic Downs on the Soutli Coast of Useless 

Outskirts of Forest .... 

A Swamp in tlie Sierra Carmen Sylva 

On the Slopes of the Sierra Carmen Sylva 

A Peak in the Sierra Carmen Sylva 

A Forest Stream .... 

The Atlantic Coast 

Undergrowth of Antarctic Beech . 

Nose Peak Forest .... 

An Inland Lagoon 

A Forest Stream .... 

The Estuary of the Rio San Martin 

Plateau above Cheena Creek 

Cheena Creek Flats 

The Sea-shore North-West of Nose Peak 



Bay 



To 


face p. 13 


M 


„ 39 


»» 


., 41 


11 


„ 47 


>' 


„ 65 


J) 


„ 71 


)1 


,. 75 


71 


„ 79 


1-> 


„ 85 


5? 


„ 91 


>' 


„ 107 


11 


„ 127 


11 


„ 133 


11 


„ 135 


M 


„ 149 



Woodcut 



Calafate . 



On dedication 



Map 



Tierra del Fuego . 



To face p. 158 



ACOIPITRES 

Family FALCONIDiE 
POLYBORUS THARUS (Molina) 

Le Busard dU Bresil, BHsson, Omithohgie, i, p. 705, 1760. 
FalcO thams, MoUna, Saggio Storia Naturale, Chili, p. 264, 1782. 
Caracara, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La Plata, i, p. 42, 1802. 
PolyborUS vulgaris, Vieillot et Oudart, Galerie Oiseaux, i, p. 23, 

pi. vii, 1825; B'Orhigny, Voy. AmSr. Merid., Ois., p. 55, 1835. 
PolyboruS brasiliensiS, Gould and Banoin, Voy. " Beagle,'" Birds, 

p. 9, 1841. 
PolyborUS tharUS, Sharpe, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., i, p. 31, 1874 ; 

Durnford, Ibis, p. 161, 1876, p. 188, 1877 ; Sclater and Hxidson, Argentine 

Orn., ii, p. 81, 1889 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 9, 1891 ; Oates, 

Gat. Birds' Eggs Brit. Mus., ii, p. 232, 1902. 

Halitat. — Brazil and Peru, to Cape Horn. 

Eggs, Sara Settlement, lOth Oct. ; ? , Cheena Creek Settlement, 
14th Nov., 1904. 

Iris — light brown j bill — bluish white, nostrils — pink shading into 
yellow; legs — yellow. 

As a conspicuous personality amongst the birds of the 
land, the Carancho perhaps stands at the head of all, not it is 
true as an object of grace or beauty, nor as anything beloved of 
man or of the animal creation at large, but as a sinister reminder 
of the dark side of life. 

Thus a feature of the landscape, it is depicted by Cook's artist 
in his quaint drawing of Christmas Sound in 1774, a figure 
in miniature perching on the rocks. 

By D'Orbigny it is said to be " sans nul doute, le plus bruyant 
et le plus effront^ de tons les oiseaux de proie d'Amerique." 

The Carancho is common, yet hardly plentiful. Pairs or 
single birds are seen hanging about a place with ominous 

1 



2 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

expectancy ; or flying high, croaking sonorously, conspicuous 
in flight by the humped up carriage of the wings. I have 
seen as many as four or five together. Evil -looking creatures 
they are, foreboding no good to the animal world about 
them. 

No other bird has afforded so much scope for the pen of the 
field observer as the Carancho. 

Azara says of it : — " ISTo ignora este pdxaro todos los modos de 
subsistir: los practica: come de todo lo que los Iribiis, 
Gavilanes, Esparveros, Alcones y castas insectivoras. Todo lo 
sabe, atisba, comprehende y aprovecha; y su especie es tan 
numerosa casi como todas las demas guerreras juntas." 

" Ya solo 6 con otro, y a veces se llaman y obran acordes 
quatro 6 seis para perseguir alguna presa que no podria pillar 
uno solo. En estos t6rminos le he visto perseguir a las Garzas, 
d losGavilanes acanelados, y a otros paxaros; y es voz comun que 
del mismo modo mata d los Avestruces, Yenados pequenos y Cor- 
deros, empezando por quitarles los ojos; y si en las majadas de 
Ovejas no hay Perros, un Caracard solo basta para comer el cordon 
umbilical, y destripar a los recien nacidos." 

"Exceptuando las Aguilas, a todos los demas quita la presa, 
y puede decirse que cazan tambien para el. Si atisba que 
algun Iribii ha tragado un pedazo de carne, le persigue volando 
hasta que se lo hace vomitar. Quando se tu-a A un pdxaro 
acude prontamente, y si conoce que va herido, se arroja sobre 
el. Aun quando no sepa si va lastimado, le sigue sin perderle 
de vista un buen rato, hasta que se asegura que estd sano. 
Aunque de poca altura, se dexa caer como las Aguilas sobre los 
Apereds, Inambiis, &c., si las halla a descubierto y quietas; 
porque si corren 6 se ocultan, no puede con ellas : ni hace 
caso de aves menores, sin duda porque no las puede pillar. 
Tambien se Ueva alguna vez los Polios de los corrales si los ve 
solos ; pero no d las Gallinas, que no le hacen caso. La Calandria, 
Golondrinas, Suiriris, Piririglids, &c., le persiguen, y picandole 
al vuelo sobre el espinazo, le espantan y ahuyentan." 



POLYBOKUS THARUS 6 

Of all the birds described by D'Orbigny, in none does he 
achieve such a masterpiece of realization as in the Carancho. 

" Nous I'avons rencontre," he says, " dans toutes les parties 
froides, temperees et chaudes de I'Amerique meridional e, sur les 
montagnes peu elevees, comme dans I'immensite des plaines. 
Nous I'avons vu, tour a tour, sur les collines de la Banda 
Oriental et de La Plata ; au milieu des Pampas de Buenos-Ayres 
et des marais de la frontiere du Paraguay ; sur les cotes arides 
de la Patagonie ; dans toutes les parties montagneuses et 
buissonneuses du Chili ; dans les deserts de la cote du Perou ; 
sur les montagnes de second ordre de la Bolivia, ainsi que dans 
toutes les plaines boisees et sur les collines du centre de 
I'Amerique meridionale ; mais nous ne I'avons pas trouve sur 
les Andes, sur les montagnes qui atteignent une hauteur de 
4,000 metres au-dessus du niveau de la mer, ou dans les forets 
humides et chaudes au milieu desquelles on ne voit plus de 
plaines ; encore vit-il sur le bord des rivieres qui les traversent, 
si, deja, le bord de ces rivieres est habite par I'homme sauvage. 
En effet, le Cardcara suit I'homme, soit dans la civilisation des 
villes, soit dans la simplicite de sa vie pastorale, au sein des 
plaines ; il le suit, parcourant par hordes devastatrices les 
immenses Pampas du sud, on se fixant, enfin, et commengant 
a cultiver le sol si fecond des contr^es chaudes. De meme que 
le Catharte, le Caracara ne trouverait pas assez de nourriture s'il 
ne s'associait a I'homme, dont il partage alternativement les 
privations et I'abondance, souffrant, comme lui, la faim, sans se 
plaindre, ou consommant, en un seul jour, les provisions d'une 
quinzaine. Sobre ou vorace, tour a tour, il sait se faire a tout, 
sans jamais abandonner I'homme, qui est quelquefois, malgre 
lui, son protecteur, mais, bien plus souvent, son persecuteur 
volontaire. 

" Le Caracara n'a done pas d'asyle qu'il affectiomie 

particulierement ; et, comme le chien chez les mammiferes, 

et la poule chez les oiseaux, il habite tons les lieux ou I'homme 

pent habiter, puisque celui-ci lui devient indispensable ; c'est, en 

2 * 



4 BIKDS OF TIEHRA DEL FUEGO 

un mot, un animal parasite, vivant, ainsi que tous les etres de 
son espece, au depens de ceux-la meme qu'il craint le plus, et qui 
ne cessent de lui faire la guerre. 

" Les Cardcards sont, peut-etre, les plus familiers des 
falconidees. lis sont si peu sauvages, dans certaines parties 
de I'Am^rique meridionale, ou les bestiaux abondent, qu' a peine 
se d6'aiigent-ils au passage du voyageur ; ou s'ils se croient trop 
pres, ils s'en eloignent seulement de quelques pas, soit en 
marchant, soit en sautant, pour se poser a peu de distance. 

" Generalement querelleurs, ils se livrent sans cesse des 
combats sanglans, soit pour un perchoir, soit, et plus souvent 
encore, pour une proie. Alors, comme toujours et partout dans 
le monde, le plus faible doit ceder. Impertinent et se fiant, sans 
doute, a la force de son bee, le Caracard s'attaque non-seulement 
aux siens, mais encore aux autres especes de Caracaras, aux 
Cathartes, aux Mouettes, ou a tel autre oiseau qui le gene ou 
dont il est jaloux. A-t-il vu, par exemple, une Mouette ou un 
Catharte avaler un bon morceau ? Soudain il s'acharne a sa 
poursuite, le presse, le harcele, jusqu'a ce qu'il Tait contraint 
a degorger, pour s'en nourrir lui-m^me, cet aliment qu'il lui 
envie ; et, nouveau Stercoraire, vit ainsi, fort souvent, des 
dejections des autres oiseaux. Les Mouettes, peu belliqueuses, 
degorgent facilement, parce qu'elles sont accoutumees a le faire, 
quand, a la mer, elles sont poursuivies par les Stercoraires et par 
les Puffins : mais les Cathartes osent quelquefois resister ; et, 
alors, bataille sanglante, ou les Caracaras obtiennent toujours la 
victoire, qu'ils doivent a la superiorite de leur armes. 

" Le vol du Cardcara est toujours horizontal, tres-rapide, et 
ses ailes forment alors un angle droit avec le corps. II ne plane 
pas, comme la Buse, et n'a pas de maniere particuliere de voler, 
quand il chasse. Quelquefois, apres la pluie, il etend ses 
ailes, pour les faire secher; mais une forme distincte de vol 
n'annonce jamais chez lui, comme chez les Urubus, I'approche 
du mauvais temps." 

" Le Caracard est omnivore, et se nourrit de toute substance 



POLYBORUS THARUS 5 

animale, putrefiee ou non ; mais il prefere les animaux vertebres, et, 
parmi ces derniers, les reptiles ophidiens, rempla^ant, a cet egard, 
en Ainerique, le Secretaire du Cap de Bonne-Esperance. Nous 
avons ete plusieurs fois teraoin de la preference qu'il donne aux 
serpents. Un domestique a cheval ayant laisse trainer derriere 
lui une laniere de cuir ou courroie, un Caracara la prit pour un 
serpent, et suivit, en courant, le cavalier, jusqu'a ce qu'il eut 
enfin reconnu son erreur. II mange quelquefois des limaQons 
et des insectes, mais il faut qu'il soit presse par la faim. Les 
sauterelles lui servent plus souvent de pis-aller que les autres 
insectes. II prend quelques petits mammiferes vivans, mais 
prefere, en general, une cliasse plus facile, et se contente des 
restes des charognes." 

" Jamais il ne chasse aux oiseaux dans la campagne, quoique, 
dans certaines contrees, il ne puisse voler, sans se voir incessam- 
ment poursuivi par des troupes de Gobe-mouches, surtout, qui 
le harcelent pendant long-temps, surs qu'il ne cherchera pas a se 
d^fendre ; mais plus liardi parmi les oiseaux domestiques, et 
vivant quelquefois pres d'une couvee de poulets, on le voit 
descendre inopinement dans une basse-cour, et en] ever dans ses 
serres, malgre la pauvre mere, accourue a la defense de ses 
poussins, un poulet qu'il va d^pecer au loin. Ce corsaire de la 
gent volatile accompagne quelquefois le chasseur, sans que ce 
dernier s'en doute ; et, des que le chasseur a touch^ un oiseau, 
s'il n'est prompt a le relever, plus alerte que lui, le Caracard lui 
enleve sa chasse avec une effronterie sans exemple. L 'oiseau 
bless6 par le chasseur, est, de suite, acheve par le Caracara, qui, 
pourtant, n'attaquerait jamais le plus petit oiseau plein de vie. 
Les Caracards se reunissent aux Cathartes pour d^pecer un 
animal mort dans la campagne ; et c'est alors que ces avides 
rivaux se livrent les plus sanglans combats. Que le berger 
attentif ne perde pas un instant de vue sa brebis prete a 
mettre bas ; car le Caracard la guette, et la moindre negli- 
gence peut coiiter la vie au jeune agneau, bientot dechire par 
le cordon ombilical ; aussi avons-nous vu le chien berger de 



6 BIRDS OF TIEKRA DEL FUEGO 

la province de Corrientes, actif autant que juclicieux, s'empressant 
autour du troupeau que, seul, il conduit, surveille et ramcne, 
n'en laisser jamais impunement approcher un Canicara. Le 
voyao'eur a pu se croire entierement seul au sein des vastes 
solitudes . . . erreur ; des botes caches I'y accompagnent. 
Qu'il suspende sa marche; et, soudain, il verra plusieurs Cara- 
cards paraitre aux environs, se percher sur les arbres voisins, ou 
attendre, aupres, les restes de son repas. Eux repus, et le 
voyageur endormi, plus de Car^cards, jusqu'au lendemain . . . 
mais ils partent avec lui, le suivent toujours, sans se montrer, 
et ne reparaitront de nouveau qu'a sa balte procbaine." 

" Met-on, enfin, le feu a la campagne, pour renouveler les 
paturages ? Le Caracara, le premier, plane sur ce theatre de 
destruction, et vient y saisir, au passage, tous les pauvres 
animaux q'une fuite rapide allait derober a leur perte." 

"It is a feature in the landscape of these countries," says 
Darwin, "which will be recognized by everyone who has wandered 
over them. Although they frequently assemble in numbers, 
they are not gregarious ; for in desert places they may be seen 
solitary, or more commonly by pairs. Besides the carrion of 
large animals, these birds frequent the borders of streams and 
the sea beach, for the sake of picking up whatever the waters 
may cast on shore. In Tierra del Fuego, and on the west coast 
of Patagonia, they must live almost exclusively on this last 
means of supply." 

" A person will discover their necrophagous habits by 
walking out on one of the desolate plains, and there lying down 
to sleep : when he awakes, he will see on each surrounding hillock 
one of these birds patiently watching him with an evil eye." 

" Its flight is generally heavy and slow. It seldom soars, 
but I have twice seen one at a great height gliding through 
the air with much ease. It runs, in contradistinction to hopping, 
but not so quickly as some of its congeners. Its cry is loud, 
very harsh and peculiar, and may be compared to the sound of 
the Spanish guttural (r, followed by a rough double r7\" 



MILVAGO CHIMANGO 7 

Personally I would describe tlie call as a sonorous 
" K-r-u-h^^ uttered twice, which is well assimilated by 
" Caracara," if properly accented. 

Durnford says it feeds indiscriminately on " dead fish, 
lizards, carcases of horses, cattle, sheep, or other carrion, 
and sometimes is said to pick out the eyes of very young 
sheep." A nest found by him in the middle of a large swamp 
was '* a massive structure, composed of sticks and lined with 
a little coarse hair and sheep's wool, and was full of putrid 
bits of horse-skin and bones of fish ; it measured 5 feet round 
and \\ deep, and contained three young ones about a week old." 

At Sara Settlement, on October 10th, I took two eggs 
from a nest built on poles put up gable-wise on the open flats, 
to ventilate primitively made hay. The nest was of huge 
dimensions, built chiefly of tangled masses of sheep's wool. The 
eggs are exceedingly handsome. They are of short ovate form, 
with smooth shell, without gloss, ground colour pinkish cream, 
spotted and blotched over the entire surface with reddish brown, 
the spots in places confluent over a considerable portion of the 
surface. They measure respectively 2*45 by 2'0 and 2*4 by 1*95 
inches. 



MILVAGO CHIMANGO (Vieillot) 

ClliinangO, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La Plata, i, p. 47, 1802. 
PolyborUS clliniangO, Vieillot, Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., y, p. 260, 

1816 ; B'Orhigny, Voy. Amer. Merid., Ois., p. 60, pi. ii, 1835. 
MilvagO ChimangO, Qould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle,'' Birds, p. 13, 

1841 ; Gray and Mitchell, Genera Birds, i, pi. v, 1849 ; Durnford, Ibis, 

p. 40, 1877 ; Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 74, 1889 ; 

Oustalet, Mis. Sci. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 15, 1891. 
MilvagO pezoporus, Gould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle," Birds, 

p. 14, 1841. 
Ibycter Chimaugo, Sharps, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., i, p. 41, 1874. 

Hahitat. — Brazil, Bolivia, and Chili, to Tierra del Fue^o. 



8 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

The Chimango is another great personality, and one entering 
very much into the daily life of man, not only in uninhabited 
regions but more particularly in settlements. 

Plentiful as it is, I came away without a skin. I shot one 
with the "410 at Rio McClelland Settlement, but the nostril was 
so much damaged that I decided to procure a better specimen, 
and ultimately did not do so. 

The Chimango is so well known and has been so often 
described by previous observers that it leaves me no ground 
to record anything original of its life habits. 

Azara, D'Orbigny, Darwin, and others have wi'itten on it at 
considerable length. 

It is the commonest of the birds of prey, yet hardly a bird 
of prey in the accepted sense, as it is entirely a scavenger 
except for insects. There are always some to be seen in 
settlements. It also frequents uninhabited regions — open 
country, the outskirts of forests, and the sea shore where 
I have seen as many as twenty or thirty together. For one of 
its kind, it is tame and unusually gentle. In man it recognizes 
a useful friend. Its petulant " C-h-i-i-i" is almost as familiar a 
sound in settlements as the cackling of the poultry whose food 
it shares under protest from them. 

Of it and the nearly-allied Chimachima, Azara tersely 
observes that : — they differ from the Caracard " en no embestir 
d ningun pdxaro ni animal, sino quando mucho a algun 
Ratoncito, y lo dudo. Yuelan con mas descanso, se suelen 
polvorizar como las Gallinas, prefieren para posarse los arboles 
secarrones, y d ^stos los montoncitos de tierra 6 piedras, y no 
tienen pelada la frente ni el buche." 

" Comme le Canicard," says D'Orbign}^, " 11 s'attache a 
I'homme dans ses etablissements, dans ses migrations, dans ses 
voyages ; il a le vol du Cardcara, ses manieres vives et bruyantes, 
son esprit querelleur ; mais ici, differant de son modele, il ne 
tourmente, n'attaque, ne combat que les oiseaux de son esp^ce ; 
et, sans doute en raison du sentiment de sa faiblesse, ne poursuit 



MILVAGO CHIMANGO 9 

jamais les autres oiseaux pour les forcer a rendre leur nourriture, 
afin de s'eii nourrir lai-meme. II se montre moins fier que 
le Caracara, sans lui ceder en farailiarite, en audace et en 
effi'onterie. Sa nourriture est celle du Caracara, les animanx 
morts, les chairs rejetees des maisons indiennes, les reptiles, les 
insectes, les jeunes poulets ; et, comme devastateur des basses- 
cours, il ne merite et ne s'attire pas moins que lui I'animadversion 
des fermiers." 

" Plus marcheur que le Caracara, il ne recherche pas autant les 
grands bois pour s'y coucher, se contentant, les plus souvent, du 
toil d'une maison, ou d'une butte elev^e en terre ou en pierre. 
On le voit, comme nos poules, en et^, se rouler, avec delices, 
dans la poussiere des chemins. II a une sorte de cri de guerre 
qu'on peut traduire par la syllabe Chili ; cri prolonge, cri aigu, 
r(^pete continuellement, et de I'efFet le plus desagr^able." 

In La Plata, Darwin says : — " It lives chiefly on carrion, 
and generally is the last bird of its tribe which leaves 
the skeleton, and hence it may frequently be seen standing 
within the ribs of a cow or horse, like a bird in a cage. The 
Chimango often frequents the sea coast, and the borders of lakes 
and swamps, where it picks up small fish. It is truly omnivorous, 
and will eat even bread when thrown out of a house with other 
offal. I was also assured that in Chiloe these birds materially 
injure the potatoe crops, by stocking up the roots when first 
planted. In the same island, I saw them following by scores 
the plough, and feeding on worms and larvas of insects. I do 
not believe that they kill, under any circumstances, even small 
birds or animals. They are very tame ; are not gregarious ; 
commonly perch on stone walls, and not upon trees. They 
frequently utter a gentle shrill scream." 

Durnford frequently observed the Chimango in flocks. 



10 BIRDS OF TTEriRA DEL FUEGO 



CIRCUS CINEREUS (Vieillot) 

Gavilan del Campo del cenicientO, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y 

La Plata, i, p. 145, 1802. 
FalCO histrionicUS, Quoy et Gaimard, Voy. " Uranie,'' p. 93, pis. xv 

et xvi, 1824. 
Circus cinereUS, Vieillot, Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., iv, p. 454, 1816 ; 

B'Orhigny, Voy. Amer. Merid., Ois., p. 110, 1885; Gould and Darwin, 

Voy. "Beagle;' Birds, p. 30, 1841; Ahhutt, Ibis, p. 152, 1861; Sharpe, 

Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., i, p. 56, 1874; Durnford, Ibis, p. 38, 1877; 

p. 397, 1878 ; Sdater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 57, 1889 ; Oustalet, 

Miss. Sci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 19, 1891. 

Habitat. — Brazil and Peru, to Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 

c^, ? , Useless Bay Settlement, 4tli Sept., 1904. 

Iris — pale orange ; bill — gvey, shading into pale orange at base ; legs- — 
pale orange. 

The Ashy Harrier is a constant feature in the landscape of 
the open country, especially in the lowland marshes. There are 
numbers at the head of Useless Bay ; I have counted as many as 
a dozen at one time on the wing. All day long they scour the 
marshes for rodents and lizards, quartermg the ground in 
leisurely zig-zag fashion, descending every now and then to 
eflfect a capture. On calm days in summer, it is a pretty sight 
to watch them at play in the air — tumbling somersaults, tilting 
with one another, and constantly uttering their plaintive cry. 
No matter how tearing the wind, they remain on the wing when 
hardly another bird will stir from shelter of its own accord. 
I have never known them prey on birds ; other birds have no 
fear of them. In my experience, they prey exclusively on 
rodents and a species of green lizard (Ltolcemus magell aniens), 
Durnford, however, records an instance of the stomach of one shot 
in Patagonia containing a freshly killed Seed Snipe (^Thinocorus 
rumicworus). 

Practically nothing is written of this Harrier's field 
habits by Azara, who, it is surprising to find, perceived " no 



CIRCUS CINEREUS 11 

sensible sexual difference," where the female is not only brown 
but larger than the grey male. 

D'Orbigny's experience in the area in which he met with it is 
that : — " Quoique repandue sur une aussi grande surface, elle est 
rare partout; et Ton n'en voit jamais que, de loin en loin, des 
individus isoles parcourir, en volant assez pres de terre avec 
aisance et legerete, bien que lentement, soit les bords des eaux 
stagnantes et des marais, soit les dunes des cotes de la mer, soit 
les rivages des rivieres." 

"Elle plane ainsi toute la journee, presque toujours en ligne 
droite et contre le vent, ne se repose que pour dechirer une proie, 
ne va pas sur les arbres faire la digestion, comme tons les 
autres aquileides, et ne se repose meme jamais sur ceux-ci, 
se couchant, le soir, au sommet d'une dune ou a terre, au bord 
d'un ruisseau." 

" Elle chasse aux petits mammiferes, aux tinamous, aux 
reptiles, aux mollusques, et meme aux insectes ; des qu'elle les 
aperQoit, dans son vol, elle s'abat vivement dessus ; et, s'ils 
s'enfuient, elle les suit soit en volant, soit en courant apres, les 
devore sur les lieux, quand elle les a saisis, et recommence 
incontinent sa chasse." 

He states these Harriers are " des oiseaux fuyards qui se 
laissent difficilement approcher dans leur vol, mais qui ont 
peine a s'envoler, Jorsqu'ils sont occupes a manger ; aussi 
n'est-ce qu'alors qu'on pent les tuer." 

Darwin questions this, and says that for one of its order, 
the Ashy Harrier is very tame. 

Personally, I found this Harrier extraordinarily tame ; it has 
little or no fear of man. It is an ordinary occurrence for this 
bird to accompany one in the marshes, continually beating or 
watching for prey from only some* fifteen or twenty feet overhead. 

In the Falkland Islands, Darwin saw one feeding on the 
flesh of a dead cow. 

There, Capt. Abbott found it resident all the year round, 
but far from plentiful. He says : — " They are bold for their 

2 * 



12 BIRDS OF TIEKRA DEL FUEGO 

size, and very swift in the air. I have observed young birds 
of this species follow me out rabbit-hunting, and I have seen 
them swoop at a rabbit, but I never saw them kill one." 

The flight is described by Durnford as " very quick and 
graceful ; few birds are a match for this Harrier ; and as it sweeps 
rapidly over the ground, now scarcely clearing the tops of the 
high grass, and the next minute rising to drop on some luckless 
victim, it is impossible not to admire its great strength of wing." 
In Central Patagonia, on the 26th October, he found " many 
pairs nesting on some low swampy ground amongst long grass. 
The nest is a slight hollow in the ground, lined with a few pieces 
of grass ; and the complement of eggs two or three ; the latter 
are of a dirty white colour." 



BUTEO ERYTHRONOTUS (King) 
Halisetus erythronotus, King, Zooi. Joum., m, p. 424, 1828. 

ButeO tricolor, D'Orhigny, Voy. Amer. Merid., Ois., p. 106, pi. iii, 
c? ?,1835. 

ButeO erythronotus, Gotdd and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle," Birds, 
p. 26, 1841 ; Abbott, Ibis, p. 151, 1861; Sharpe, Cat Birds Brit. Mtis., i, 
p. 172, 1874; Durnford, Ibis, p. 38, 1877, p. 397, 1878; Oustalet, Miss. 
Set. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 28, 1891 ; Sclater and Hudsov, Argentine Orn., ii, 
p. 62, 1889 ; Oates, Gat. Birds' Bggs Brit. Mus., ii, p. 252, 1902. 

ButeO varius, Gassin, U.S. Expl. Exp., Orn., p. 92, pi. iii, 1858. 

Habitat. — Peru and Chili, to Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 

One egg,, San Sebastian Settlement, 4th Oct. ; $ , Sara Settlement, 7th 
Oct. ; juv. sk., 10th Oct. ; $ , Rio McClelland Settlement, 9tli Dec. ; juv. sk., 
21st Dec, 1904. 

Ii'is — old gold ; bill — grey ; legs — pale yellow. 

Life measurement, wing tip to wing tip, 4 ft. 4i\ in. 

The variation between the inadult and adult plumage of the 
Rufous-backed Buzzard is so great that many have been led to 
believe the two forms distinct species. I was myself deceived in 




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BUTEO ERYTHRONOTUS 13 

this respect. In the inadult bn*d, the prevailing colours are 
black or very dark brown and a beautiful pale burnt sienna, 
whereas in the adult these are slaty grey and white, with 
a rufous back in the case of the female — so that King's name 
does not adant itself to both sexes. 

This handsome Buzzard was first described by Capt. King- 
on the first Survey of the "Adventure" and "Beagle," from 
specimens obtained at Port Famine. Darwin subsequently 
obtained it in Chiloe Island and the Falkland Islands. 

D'Orbigny says : — " Elle aime surtout les coteaux, les 
montagnes ou bien la proximite des falaises : elle va toujours 
par paire, et se pose sur les buissons des points eleves des 
rochers ; et, quoiqu'il y eut, non loin de la, au bord des eaux 
des saules eleves, nous ne la vimes jamais s'en approcher ; 
tandis que nous I'avons trouvee jusqu'd huit ou dix lieues de 
distance du Rio l!^egro, au milieu de plaines seches et arides, 
oil de tres-petits buissons couvraient seuls le sol." 

He states its prey consists principally of " reptiles ophidiens 
et batraciens, mais elle chasse aussi aux oiseaux, aux tinamous et 
aux petits passereaux ; car I'inspection de son estomac nous a 
moutre sou vent des detritus de ce genre d'alimens ; elle chasse 
aussi probablement aux jeunes cobayes qui abondent dans les 
memes lieux." 

Darwin questions D'Orbigny's statement that it frequents 
open and dry countries, and says : — " We now see that it is 
found in the dense, humid forests of Chiloe and Tierra del 
Fuego." 

My experience agrees with D'Orbigny's, for though I have 
seen this bird on the outskirts of forest, I have never remarked 
it in forest depths, nor could it well exist there, since it preys 
on the animals of the open. Undulating country, more or less 
covered with short scrub and fern, with here and there a clump 
of trees, is its favourite haunt : the snow-white breast perching 
on a bush is visible nearly a mile away. It is a conspicuous 
feature on the downs to the south of Useless Bay, and on the 



14 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

Atlantic Coast. The flight is particularly easy and graceful, 
with its large expanse of wing and tail. Sometimes it sweeps 
the land in wide circles within gunshot from below ; sometimes 
it steers a straight course up wind at a lofty height; some- 
times it remains poised high above earth, with never a wing 
beat for minutes on end. Invariably almost this bird occurs in 
pairs, which seem inseparably affectionate. It has little fear of 
man. I killed my first spechnen with the '410, ISTo. 7 shot, 
flying low overhead, on the track between San Sebastian Bay 
and Sara Settlement. As far as my observations go, it preys 
exclusively on rodents. Five examples examined by me 
contained the remains of Ctenomys magellatricus. 

In the Falkland Islands, Darwin found it preying chiefly 
on " rabbits which have run wild and abound over certain parts." 

Durnford says small rodents are its prey. 

Capt. Abbott records this Buzzard common in the Falkland 
Islands, more especially in those parts where there are many wild 
rabbits, these being its principal food. " The nest," he says, 
" is generally situated on a cliff near the shore, or high rocks in 
the camp, and is composed of the dry sticks of the two Falkland 
Island bushes with generally a piece of dry grass on the top, 
and the nests appear to be built up higher every year. A 
singular nest, which I saw at Salvador Bay, w^as built in the 
open camp, on a small bush, and was, I should think, 5 feet high 
from the ground. The eggs are laid about the beginning of 
October, although I have taken a single egg in September ; and 
the number is two, or sometimes three." 

In Tierra del Fuego, the nest is built either high up in 
a tree on the outskirts of forest, or on the top of a scrubby 
bush no more than five or six feet from the ground. I have 
seen many in both such situations. In the Sierra Carmen Sylva, 
in early October, I took an egg from a nest on the top of a bush. 
The nest was large and coarsely built of sticks, almost flat, with 
hardly an attempt at lining. The egg is a regular blunt oval, 
with somewhat rough surface, without gloss. It is bluish 




"West.Ne'WTnaii iTP.p. 



GSEANO^ETUS MELATSTOLEXJCUS 



geranoJ:tus melanoleucus 15 

white, marked sparsely over the entire surface with reddish 
brown, the markings assuming somewhat of the appearance of 
a ring round what may be taken for the larger end. It 
measures 2*5 in length by 2*0 inches in breadth. This eg^^ is 
intermediate between the lar2;est and smallest eo-gs of G, 
melanoleucus^ and a little larger than the largest egg of 
B. eryihronotus^ in the British Museum. 

Parasitic on one of these Buzzards I found bird lice (mallo- 
phaga), pronounced by Mr. E. E. Austen to be Docophorus 
platystomus. 

The Ona name is '''' KekesliT Had I been able to understand 
the language of these red men, they could have informed me of 
what I only subsequently learned in the British Museum — that 
the bird in brown plumage is the young of this species, for the 
name they gave me for this was " Kehesh Kofya " / 



GERANOJETUS MELANOLEUCUS (Vieillot) 
Aguila de la obscura y blanca, A. de la parda, Azara, 

Pdxaroft^ Paraguay y La Plata, i, pp. 61, 65, 1802. 
Spiz^tUS melanoleucus, Vieillot, N'om. Did. cVHid. Nat., xxxii, 

p. 57, 1819. 
HaliaBtUS melanoleucus, D'Orbigny, Voy. AmSr. Mend., Ois., p. 76, 

1835. 
ButeO melanoleucus, Sharpe, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., i, p. 168, 1874; 

Durnford, Ibis, p. 38, 1877, p. 397, 1878 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Gap Horn, 

Ois., p. 35, 1891. 
GeranoaetUS melanoleucus, Sdater and Hudson, Argentine Cm., 

ii, p. 64, 1889. 

Habitat. — Columbia and Brazil, to Tierra del Fuego. 

? , Rio McClelland Settlement, 25th N"ov. 1904. 

Iris — light brown ; bill — bluish white shading into dark grey at tip, 
nostrils — yellowish ; legs — pale yellow. 

Life measurement, from wing tip to wing tip, 5 ft. 9f in. 

Comparatively few expeditions record the Grey Eagle, and 
none, I think, hitherto from the island. It is rare on the 



16 BIRDS OF TIERKA DEL FUEGO 

Atlantic coast : more common to the south of Useless Bay. It 
occurs in pairs of local habit. A pair used to breed on Lion's 
Head Rock, about three miles inland from San Sebastian Bay. 
Prior to my arrival one had been shot : the mate remained 
solitary and unapproachable. This was the only specimen I 
remarked on the Atlantic coast. 

Azara and D'Orbigny attribute to it habits of feeding which 
are altogether contrary to my experience. 

Azara says : — " Acudian d comer la carne de las Vacas 
muertas en las dehesas 6 estancias." 

In Patagonia and Paraguay D'Orbigny relates how he 
remarked this species to the number of thirty, in a wood, 
following and preying on the innumerable flocks of migratory 
Pigeons, which in winter cover the banks of the Rio Negro, and 
the plains bordering on the Rio Parana. He adds: — "Nous 
I'avons vue, souvent, se jeter au milieu d'une de ces troupes qui 
obscurcissent I'air a I'horizon, et en sortir toujours avec un de 
ces pauvres oiseaux dans ses serres." 

Of its feeding habits in general, he says: — " Elle se nourrit 
de beaucoup de choses diverses ; comme nous I'avons deja 
dit, c'est une des plus cruelles ennemies des troupes voyageuses 
de Pigeons, dans la saison oil ces oiseaux restent reunis; elle 
s'en nourrit presque exclusivement, les suivant a cet effet, dans 
leurs migrations. La reste de I'annee, elle chasse aux petits 
mammif^res, tels que les coboyes et les rats, et aux oiseaux, 
lorsqu'ils se trouvent dans la campagne ; car elle n'entre jamais 
dans les bois, afin d'y chercher sa proie. Neanmoins, en temps 
de disette, elle mange tout ce qui pent apaiser sa faim, commes 
des poissons ou meme des cadavres d'animaux. Pour chasser 
aux Pigeons, elle se contente de fondre sur une troupe qui 
couvre la terre, quelquefois sur plus de dix-mille metres carres, 
et s'empare sans peine d'un de ces pauvres oiseaux ; ou bien 
elle fond sur une volee et saisit au vol sa victime." 

In Central Patagonia, Durnford found it ''not common and 
never seen far from the sea." 



FALCO FUSCO-C^RULESCENS 17 

Personally, I have never known this Eagle feed on carrion 
or kill a bird. It appeared to me to prey exclusively on rodents. 
A pair commonly frequent the exact same place — perching close 
together on some projecting ledge of a cliff or bare limb of a tree, 
whence they contemplate the prospect in dignified repose. 

In appearance, whether at rest or on the wing, these birds are 
magnificently aquiline — wheeling, and scouring the land in quest 
of prey ; working by poise without a wing's beat for as long as 
one watches them ; calling to one another from a distance. 

Harmless as I found them in the bird world, they undergo 
much annoyance from the Carancho and Chimango. 

The Ona name is '"'' KavarehT 



FALCO FUSCO-CiERULESCENS (Vieillot) 
Alconcillo aplomado, A. obscuro azulejo, Azara, Pdxaros, 

Paraguay y La Plata, i, pp. 175, 179, 1802. 
FalcO fuSCO-CSeruleSCenS, Vieillot, Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., xi, p. 90, 

1817; Sharpe, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., i, p. 400, 1874; Sclater and 

Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 69, 1889. 
FalcO femoraliS, D'Orbigny, Voy. Amer. Merid., Ois., p. 116, 1835 j 

Gould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle," Birds, p. !^8, 1841. 

Hypotriorchis femoralis, Durnford, ibis, p. 398, 1878. 

Habitat. — North America from Mexico, througliout South America, to 
Tierra del Fuego. 

? , Cheena Creek Settlement, 22nd Jan., 1905. 

Iris — brown ; bill — grey, dark points ; legs — greenish yellow. 

Few expeditions record the Orange-chested Hobby. 

" Aunque no abunda," says Azara, " no faltan parejas en 
todos estos paises. En quanto a sus costumbres solo resta anadir, 
que suele acompanar d los viageros y cazadores que andan por 
el campo, voltejeando para perseguir y pillar los paxaritos y 
Inambus que levantan. Es tan raro, que no he visto sino uno 
que compre en el Paraguay." 

3 



18 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

D'Orbigny's experience was similar. He says : — " Quoique 
repandue sur une vaste surface de terrain, elie n'est, a proprement 
parler, commune niiUe part. On en rencontre quelquefois des 
individus isol^s ; mais, le plus souvent, ils vont par paires, 6pars 
dans les campagnes, et s6pards les uns des autres par une grande 
distance ; car ils sont des plus egoistes." 

" En tout temps, ils ne vivent absolument que de proie 
fraiche, de mammif^res et d'oiseaux, surtout des derniers, qu'ils 
preferent h tout, et qu'ils poursuivent avec une agilite et une 
adresse extraordinaires." 

Darwin obtained one specimen at Port Desire, Patagonia, 
in Lat. 47°: 44' S. 

The French Mission to Cape Horn did not meet with it. 

There is no previous record of this Hobby's occurrence in 
Tierra del Fuego. It is by no means common, I saw, perhaps, 
less than a dozen all told, some of which will have been the 
same individual on several occasions. It interested me more than 
any other bird of prey. It is the wildest, swiftest, and most 
dashing bird of prey in the island. I was never able to 
shoot one. Mr. J. G. Cameron killed this specimen for me, with 
a bullet, at Cheena Creek. It is essentially a bird of the wilds, 
and does not frequent settlements. All I have seen — with one 
exception — have been hurrying along bent on their purpose, 
either flying straight overhead at a tremendous pace usually out 
of gunshot, or chasing small birds high into the sky. Once 
I came on one perching on a drift tree on the sea shore. 

Durnford states it is the swiftest Hawk in Patagonia. 
He saw it but rarely. A nest found on the 3rd of November 
was placed on the toj) of a thick thorn-bush, and formed of 
twigs and sticks, lined with grass. It contained three eggs, in 
colour rich yellowish red, thickly speckled all over with dark 
rufous spots. 

This specimen's stomach contained the remains of a bird. 



TINNUNCULUS CINNAMOMINUS 19 



TINNUNCULUS CINNAMOMINUS (Swainson) 

Cernicalo, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La Plata, i, p. 182, 1802. 
FalcO SparveriuS, B'Orbigny, Voy. Amer. Merid., Ois., p. 119, 1835. 
FalcO cinnamominUS, Swainson, Animals in Menageries, p. 281, 

1837. 
TinnunCUlUS SparveriUS, Gould and Darwin, Voy. ^'Beagle,'" 

Birds, p. 29, 1841 ; Durnford, Ibis, p. 39, 1877 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Cap 

Horn, Ois., p. 37, 1891. 
CerchneiS Cinnamoniina, Sharpe, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., i, p. 439, 

1874. 
TinnunCUluS CinnamomiimS, Sdater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., 

ii, p. 69, 1889. 

Habitat — South. America. 

? , Cheena Creek, 29th Jan. ; c? c?> Rio McClelland Settlement, 10th Feb., 
1905. 

Iris — dark brown ; bill — grey, nostrils and eyelids — yellow ; legs — pale 
orange. 

The Cinnamon Kestrel is recorded by the majority of 
expeditions to these regions. Darwin met with it in Peru and 
Patagonia. It is not common. During my first five months, 
embracing mid -summer, I saw three. In my last month — that 
is between January and February — I saw four or five. I believe 
it to be a migrant arriving towards the end of summer, though 
a certain number remain throughout the year. Like the Orange- 
chested Hobby, it frequents open scrub-covered country. 

In the winter this Kestrel occasionally takes up its abode in 
settlements, even in buildings tenanted by man. At Cheena 
Creek, I was shown traces of where one had roosted in the 
verandah of the manager's house. Another roosted in the sheep- 
dip shed at Useless Bay Settlement. I was never able to shoot 
one. All I saw were flying wide of me, skimming the ground, 
except once at Crooked Creek, when I had no gun, and a pair let 
me ride close by them as they sat on a barberry thornbush. 

For two of my three examples I am indebted to Mr. Clarke, 
who shot them just in time for me to take them on board the 

3 * 



20 BIRDS OF TIEKRA DEL FUEGO 

" Cordillera " to skin at Punta Arenas. My other example was 
shot and preserved by Mr. J. G. Cameron at Cheena Creek. He 
informed me that some months previously, when he was 
following a Wren (Trof/lodytes hornensis)^ one of these Kestrels 
dashed down and went off with it. 

Azara says : — " Subsiste de Grillos, Lagartos, Ratoncillos, 
Yiboritas, y otros insectos y reptiles chicos. Tambien le he visto 
coger, como las Grolondrinas, al vuelo Hormigas aladas, sin que 
nunca haya notado que persiga paxaritos : solo en una ocasion 
cerca del Rio de la Plata vi que una pareja embistio a un 
Inambui, y que le pillaron. Y tambien le he visto pereguir 
Murcielagos. Si algun Caracara li otro paxaro grande se acerca 
adonde tiene su nido, le ataca y ahuyenta." 

D'Orbigny says : — " Elle se nourrit de chauves-souris et 
de petits mammiferes rongeurs, ce qui I'oblige a voler depuis 
le crepuscule du matin jusqu'a la nuit close ; le jour, elle poursuit 
quelquefois de petits oiseaux. Les Tinamous sont ceux qu'elle 
chasse le plus souvent ; et, dans ce cas, le couple se reunit pour 
les attaquer; mais elle se nourrit, aussi, de reptiles sauriens, 
d'insectes, et principalement d'orthopteres ce que nous avons pu 
reconnaitre par I'inspection de son estomac. Elle ne s'approche 
jamais d'un animal mort ; elle chasse absolument comme notre 
Cresserelle d'Europe." 

This Kestrel appeared to me a swifter and wilder bird than its 
British congener, and to seek its prey not so much by hovering 
as by skimming the ground in rapid dashing flight. 

This so impressed Durnford that he compares it with 
Progne 'purpurea^ and says, if not quite so quick in turning, in 
a fair race it would certainly not be behind the Swallow. 

The specimen given me by Mr. Cameron contained lizards: 
of the two preserved by myself, one contained coleoptera and 
diptera — apparently large midges ; the other coleoptera onl3^ 



STRIX FLAMMEA 21 

STRIGES 

Family STRIGIDiE 
STRIX FLAMMEA (Linn^us) 

The Common Barn Owl, AlUn, Nat. Hist. Birds, ii, pi. xi, 1738; 
Watertou, Essays Nat. Hist., p. 7, 1838. 

L' Effraie, La Fresaie, Buffon, Hist. Nat. Ois., i, p. 291, pi. ccccxl, 

1770. 
Strix flammea, Linnceus, Systema Naturce, i, p. 135, 1766; Gould, 

Birds of Europe, i, pi. xxxvi, 1834 ; Gould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle," 

Birds, p. 34, 1841 ; Gould, Birds of Great Britain, i, pi. xxviii, 1869 ; 

Sharpe, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., ii, p. 291, pi. xiv, 1875 ; Sclater and 

Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 48, 1889 ; Lilford, Birds British Islands, i, 

p. 109, pi. Ii, 1890. 
LcclLUZa, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La Plata, i, p. 210, 1802, 
Strix perlata, B'Orligny, Voy. Amer. Merid., Ois., p. 135, 1835. 
Strix punctatissima, Gould and Darwin, Voy. "Beagle," Birds, p. 34, 

pi. iv, 1841. 
Strix delicatula, Gould, Birds of Australia, i, pi. xxxi, 1846. 
Strix indica, Go%ild, Birds of Asia, i, pi. xvii, 1872. 

Habitat. — The Entire World, with certain exceptions. 

An Owl, which I think can only be this species, is occasion- 
ally met with in the island. At San Sebastian Settlement, two 
have been killed, one of these in a chimney in the manager's 
house. I was shown the wings and took them to be those of" 
the Barn Owl. Mr. Clarke assures me he has once or twice 
seen the same Owl to the south of Useless Bay. 

Of all members of the order, the Barn Owl has the widest 
distribution. Its remarkable variation consequent thereon forms 
the subject of much divergence of opinion as to whether its many 
races are to be considered one or many species. The plates 
quoted in my references serve to illustrate some of its extreme 
phases of variation. 

Azara at once recognized this bird as the Owl of his native 
land. " Es la misma Lechuza de Espana," he says. " Se halla en 
todos estos paises introduciendose y criando en los templos, y 
tambien en los agujeros de las penas y troncos." After men- 



22 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

tioning the creatures on which it preys, he states that it also 
eats " velas de sebo, y el aceyte de las lAmparas." 

D'Orbigny observed it over a vast area, from sea-level to 
12,000 feet in the Andes. Well does he say — as is shown in 
the case of the bird seeking out and occupying a chimney 
in so remote, new, and small a settlement as San 
Sebastian — "parait ne vivre qu'ou I'homme a commence 
a batir des edifices ; elle doit done le suivre partout, ce qui 
la fait s'^tendre, peu a peu, sur tout le sol americain. line 
chose qui nous a cependant etonne dans cette espece, c'est 
cette facilite meme a s'etablir en tons lieux ; en effet, si dans un 
endroit desert, sans rochers, aux environs duquel il ne pent y 
avoir aucune effraie, endroit souvent separe des habitations par 
une tres-grande etendue de terrains sauvages ; si dans un tel 
endroit, disons-nous, on etablit une ville ou seulement un grand 
village, il ne se passera pas deux ans avant qu'un couple 
d'Effraies ne vienne prendre possession des nouveaux edifices, 
sans qu'on sache comment il aura pu s'y rendre et franchir 
I'espace qui le separait de son nouveau sejour. C'est surtout au 
milieu de ces immenses plaines inondees de la province de 
Moxos, en Bolivia, que nous avons ete frappe de cette idee, 
rencontrant partout des Effraies, dans les missions modernes, 
separees souvent des autres par une traite de cinquante lieues de 
marais ou de terrains inondes, oil I'efFraie pouvait difficilement 
vivre. On doit done supposer que la nuit elle s'eloigne beaucoup 
de sa demeure habituelle, ou qu'elle voyage plus que ne le font 
d'habitude les especes d'oiseaux de proie ordinaires ; on pourrait 
encore supposer que les jeunes couples, chasses du lieu de leur 
naissance par leurs parens, des qu'ils sont en age de pourvoir 
a leur existence, ne pouvant pas vivre dans le m^me edifice, ou 
ne trouvant pas d' edifices voisins, errent long-temps dans les 
campagnes, jusqu'a ce qu'ils aient rencontre un lieu habite oil 
ils puissent se fixer." 

Darwin obtained this Owl in Northern Patagonia, and in the 
Galapagos Islands. 

In the British Isles, no bird is more closely associated with 



STRIX FLAMMEA 23 

human habitations than the Barn Owl, and none so entirely 
serves the interests of man ; yet, until recently, owing to super- 
stition and ignorant prejudice, it has met with only persecution 
in return. Even at the present day, it is far from receiving that 
recognition which is its just and wise due. 

Common as this Owl is, and with all the personality it 
possesses, few people attain to any intimate knowledge of its 
habits, because, as a bird of the night, its ways are not 
ordinarily apparent to creatures of the day. 

Many as have written on its life history, very few have done 
so otherwise than in general terms. Of all authorities, the 
earliest are the best. None equals Charles Waterton, not only 
in point of original observation, but in pathetic appeal to 
humanity on this bird's behalf, backed by all the force of 
character of this man of tremendous personality. 

" I own I have a great liking for this bird," Waterton writes 
in his Essays ; " and I have offered it hospitality and protection 
on account of its persecutions, and for its many services to me. 
I wish that any little thing I could write or say might cause it 
to stand better with the world at large than it has hitherto 
done." 

Returning from his wanderings in other lands in 1813, 
taught by all he had himself gone through to have a kindly 
heart for God's creatures, he describes the steps he took to 
preserve this Owl, hitherto ruthlessly destroyed by his retainers 
at Walton Hall. " Having suffered myself and learned mercy," as 
he expresses it, " I broke in pieces the code of penal laws which the 
knavery of the gamekeeper and the lamentable ignorance of the 
other servants had hitherto put in force, far too successfully, to 
thin the numbers of this poor, harmless, unsuspecting tribe. On 
the ruin of the old gateway, against which, tradition says, the waves 
of the lake have dashed for the better part of a thousand years, 
I made a place with stone and mortar, about four feet square, 
and fixed a thick oaken stick firmly into it. Huge masses of 
ivy now quite cover it. In about a month or so after it was 
finished, a pair of Barn Owls came and took up their abode in it. 



24 BIRDS OF TTERRA DEL FUEGO 

When I found that this first settlement on the gateway had 
succeeded so well, I set about forming other establishments. 
This year I have had four broods, and I trust that next season 
I can calculate on having nine. 

" We can now have a peep at the Owls in their habitation on 
the old ruined gateway, whenever we choose. Confident of 
protection, these pretty birds betray no fear when the stranger 
mounts up to their place of abode. I would here venture 
a surmise, that the Barn Owl sleeps standing. Whenever we go 
to look at it, we invariably see it upon the perch, bolt upright ; 
and often with its eyes closed, apparently fast asleep." 

As to the statement by Buffon and Bewick that the Barn 
Owl snores during repose, Waterton suggests that what they 
took for snoring was the cry of the young birds for food. He 
adds : — "I had fully satisfied myself on this score some years ago. 
However, in December, 1823, 1 was much astonished to hear this 
same snoring kind of noise, which had been so common in the 
month of July. On ascending the ruin, I found a brood of young 
Owls in the apartment." 

" If this useful bird caught its food by day, instead of hunting 
for it by night, mankind would have ocular demonstration of 
its utility in thinning the country of mice ; and it would be 
protected, and encouraged, everywhere. It would be with us 
what the Ibis was with the Egyptians. 

" When it has young, it will bring a mouse to the nest about 
every twelve or fifteen minutes. But, in order to have a proper 
idea of the enormous quantity of mice which this bird destroys, 
we must examine the pellets which it ejects from its stomach in 
the place of its retreat. Every pellet contains from four to seven 
skeletons of mice. In sixteen months from the time that the 
apartment of the Owl on the old gateway was cleaned out, there 
has been a deposit of above a bushel of pellets." 

Waterton occasionally observed this Owl preying on rats 
and fish. 

As to the disputed point whether or not the Barn Owl lioots, 
he denies this, and says it screeches. " The Barn Owl may be 



STRIX FLAMMEA 25 

heard shrieking here perpetually on the portico, and in the large 
sycamore trees near the house," he says. " It shrieks equally 
when the moon shines and when the night is rough and cloudy ; 
and he who takes an interest in it may here see the Barn Owl the 
night through when there is a moon ; and he may hear it shriek, 
when perching on the trees, or when it is on wing. He may see 
it and hear it shriek, within a few yards of him, long before dark ; 
and again, often after daybreak, before it takes its tinal departure 
to its wonted resting place." 

So much at home were these Owls at Walton, that at night 
they often came into Waterton's room ; and after flitting to and 
fro on wing so soft and silent that they are scarcely heard, they 
would take their departure from the same window by which they 
had entered. 

The dovecot even was frequented by them, without harm or 
alarm to the inmates. 

In more modern times. Lord Lilford thus demonstrates 
the folly of destroying the Barn Owl, not only in the interest of 
game but of agriculture : — " I have examined hundreds of pellets 
cast up by this species in and under their nesting-places, and 
never discovered either bones or feathers of any game-bird, the 
castings consisting mainly of the fur and bones of small 
mammalia, with feathers and skulls of seed-eating birds, and 
occasionally a few bones and scales of small fishes." 

Of its feeding capacity he says that he saw an old pair bring 
food to their brood " seventeen times in half an hour from a rick- 
yard near their nest." He saw one about half-grown swallow 
nine full-grown house mice in rapid succession, till the tail 
of the ninth stuck out of his mouth, yet within three hours 
the bird was hungry again, and was barely satisfied with four 
more. 

" This Owl begins to lay early in April," Lilford says, " and 
begins to sit as soon as one or two eggs are laid, though the full 
complement is seldom less than six or seven. Young Barn 
Owls in all stages from newly -hatched down- clad infancy to full 
feathering may be found in one and the same nest at the same 

4 



26 BIRDS OF TIEKRA DEL FUEGO 

time, and there is good reason to believe that the juniors are 
hatched out by the warmth of their elder brethren." 

In the advance of civilization, an appeal of another nature 
than against superstition and prejudice has become necessary 
on behalf of the Barn Owl, and this is dealt with by Lilford, 
who protests against the barbarity of massacring Owls for sale 
and manufacture into fire-screens and plumes for ladies' hats. 

Let me second this by quoting the words of one who writes 
from a broader standpoint than that of the lover of birds alone, 
words which from their depth of feeling must appeal to all 
thinking people, the words of Lecky in his "Map of Life " : — 
" It is melancholy to observe," says he, " how often sensitive 
women who object to field sports and who denounce all 
experiments on living animals will be found supporting with 
perfect callousness fashions that are leading to the wholesale 
destruction of some of the most beautiful species of birds, and are 
in some cases dependent upon acts of very aggravated cruelty." 

The Kuran realizes the following ideal: — " There is no beast 
on earth, nor bird which flieth with its wings, but the same is 
a people like unto you — unto the Lord shall they return." 

Anyone to whom this in the least appeals, is not likely to 
be guilty of wantonly sacrificing the life of the meanest fellow 
creature, still less of so interesting and useful a companion to 
man as this Owl. 



Family BUBONID.E 
ASIO BRACHYOTUS (Foistei) 

La Grande ChOUette, Brisson, Omithologie, i, p. 511, 1/60. 

La Chouette, La Grande Cliev§clie, Buff on, Hist. Nat. Ois., i, 

p. 296, pi. ccccxxxviii, 1770. 
Strix brachyotOS, Forster, PhUosoph. Trans., Ixii, p. 384, 1772. 
OtUS brachyotUS, D'Orhigmj, Voy. Amer. Merid., Ois., p. 13-i, 1835; 

Abbott, Ibis, p. 152, 1861; JDurnford, Ibis, p. 396, 1878; Oustalet, Miss. 

Sci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 42, 1891. 
Strix brachyotns, Gould, Birds of Eitrope, i, pi. si, 1836. 



ASIO BEACHYOTUS 27 

OtUS palUStriS, O. galapagoensis, GouU and Darwin, Voy. 

" Beagle;' Birds, pp. 32, 33, pi. iii, 1841. 
BrachyotUS palustriS, Gould, Birds of Great Britain, \, pi. xxxii, 

1863. 
AsiO aCCipitrinUS, Sharpe, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., ii, p. 234, 1875. 
AsiO brachyotUS, Sdater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 49, 1889 ; 

Lilford, Birds British Islands, i, p. 95, pi. xlv, 1890. 

Habitat.— The Old and New Worlds. 

c?, Useless Bay Settlement, IStli Sept., 1904. 

Iris — dark yellow ; bill — dark grey ; feet — dark drab. 

What an exquisitely beautiful bird is the Short-eared Owl, in 
its soft-coloured brown plumage beaded with silver round the 
eye, of the nature of silky down rather than feathers ! 

This Owl is common in the vast marshes at the head of Use- 
less Bay. It is often to be seen on the wing in daytime. So 
accustomed are other birds to this Owl flying in their midst that 
they hardly notice it. It can often be seen beating the marshes 
in company with the Ashy Harrier, and occasionally the latter 
dispute its presence. It constantly follows a man on foot or on 
horseback, if not travelling too fast, for considerable distances, 
circling round before and behind, either out of curiosity or to 
turn one to account as a beater. Should one look up at it 
intently, it immediately concentrates its gaze, turns its head 
almost completely round as it circles, and screeches " Che-chef" 

In his account of this Owl, Gould says it is " so universally 
dispersed as to render it probable that it may be observed 
over the whole four continents, with the exception of the high 
northern regions." 

" Wherever a bird breeds, that country may justly claim it 
as one of its indigenous inhabitants : hence this Owl may be so 
considered in the British Islands ; for although there is an 
immigration from the north about the end of October, and a 
corresponding diminution in spring, ^^et considerable numbers 
did formerly, and many now, remain to breed in England, 
Scotland and Ireland. We have abundant evidence that this 
bird inhabits the African Continent, from north to south. 

5 



28 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

Mr. Jerdon states that it arrives in India at the beginning of the 
cold weather, and leaves again about March, spreading itself in 
the interval over the entire Peninsula, from Cape Comorin to the 
Himalayas, and being often flushed and killed by the Florican 
hunters. Every country of the European Continent enumerates 
it in the list of its avifauna. It is common on the Amur, and 
doubtless in every part of China. In America, it frequents the 
fur countries in the summer, and at other seasons the whole of 
the Northern States, from east to west. We have ourselves 
been enabled to compare specimens from the Straits of 
Magellan, Brazil, and North America, with others from every 
part of Africa and India, all of which were so strictly similar in 
their markings and size that it was impossible to distinguish 
them. In Australia, New Zealand, and Polynesia it has never 
been found ; neither have I any reason to suppose that it is a 
native of any of the Indian Islands, such as Borneo, Java, the 
Philippines, and Japan ; everywhere else this flapping diurnal 
Owl appears to be either a constant resident or a migrant." 

" In England, this bird is known to sportsmen as the Wood- 
cock Owl, from the circumstance of its numbers being greatly 
augmented about the time of the arrival of that bird in November ; 
in all probability, both species are under the same influence, and 
compulsorily leave the coast of Norway with the first favourable 
wind. In November, then, great accessions to the numbers of 
this bird are observed to take place on our eastern shores, whence 
they spread themselves over the entire country, and are frequently 
to be met with, in the latter part of the Partridge-season, among 
the great turnip-fields and low sedgy flats of Norfolk, Suff'olk, 
Cambridge, and Huntingdon shires. Certain districts are 
occasionally overrun with the common field mouse to such an 
extent that the young plantations would be entirely destroyed, 
were their numbers not kept down by the Short-eared Owl. 
Instances are on record of from ten to twenty being seen 
together ; and hence it has been regarded by some as a gregarious 
bird, which indeed it is, so long as there is an abundance of this 
kind, but no longer : the mice failing, it feeds upon any other 



ASIO BEACHYOTUS 29 

small quadrupeds and birds it may be able to obtain. Colonel 
Montagu found the remains of a Skylark and a Yellowhammer 
in the stomach of one he examined, Mr. Thompson the legs of a 
Tringa^ and Mr. Yarrell a half-grown rat and portions of a bat. 

"Unlike the rest of its tribe, which habitually reside among 
trees and rocks, the Short-eared Owl reposes on the ground, and 
prefers extensive moors and marshes to thickly wooded districts." 

" Its flight is strong and vigorous, and from its diurnal habits 
it may be frequently observed, particularly in gloomy weather, 
on the wing at midday, hunting for small birds, mice, frogs, etc., 
which constitute its principal food. When in a state of repose 
it secretes itself on the ground, either in a tuft of long grass, 
heath, or among the thickest part of the turnips." 

Of this Owl's breeding habits in the British Isles, Lord Lilford 
says : — " The nest when situated in dry heath-lands is merely a 
scraping of the earth, but in the fens the eggs are often laid upon 
a few pieces of broken reed-stems, with occasionally a few leaves 
of that plant, or blades of broad sedge ; the eggs are pure white, 
and vary in number from four to six." 

D'Orbigny says of it in South America — " en Bolivia, au 
Perou, au Chili, en Patagonie, depuis les plaines jusqu'a la 
hauteur de 14,000 pieds au-dessus cle la mer, sur les Andes " 
— " Nous ne I'avons rencontree que dans les terrains ondules, 
ou dans les plaines rocailleuses, sablouneuses, arides ou 
couvertes de hautes graminees ; elle se cache quelquefois, 
pendant le jour, au milieu de ces herbes, Le plus souvent elle 
dort peu dans la journee ; car on la voit, sans etre poursuivie, 
s'elever du milieu des herbes, s'envoler, planer longtemps ; puis, 
aller se poser sur un tertre, sur un petit buisson ou dans les 
herbes, d'oii elle repart des qu'on s'en approche, meme de tres- 
loin ; et nous pouvons assurer qu'elle est beaucoup moins crepus- 
culaire que les autres especes de sa famille, puisque, meme dans 
la journee, elle chasse encore lorsque le soleil n'est pas fort, et 
parait y voir parfaitement." 

Darwin records this Owl from La Plata, Patagonia, the 
Falkland Islands, and the Galapagos Islands. 

5 * 



30 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

In the Falkland Islands Abbott found it a scarce bird. 
Durnford says it is resident but not common in Central 
Patagonia. 



BUBO MAGELLANICUS (Gmelin) 
Hibou des Terres Magellaniques, Bufon, Hist. Nat. Ois., i, pi. 

ccclxxxv, 1770. 

Bubo magellanicUS, Gmelin, Systema Naturce, i, p. 286, 1788; 
B'Orhigny, Voy. Amer. Merid., Ois., p. 137, 1835; Sharps, Cat. Birds 
Brit. Mus., ii, p. 29, 1875 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 41, 1891. 

Nacurutli, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La Plata, i, p. 192, 1802. 

Bubo virginianus, Sdater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 50, 1889. 

Habitat. — Southern Brazil and Peru, to Tierra del Fuego. 

cJ, Useless Bay Settlement, 31st Aug., 1904. 

Iris — bright orange ; bill — dark grey ; feet — dark drab. 

Dr. Sclater and Mr. Salvin do not admit the validity of this 
species, but include it in B. virginianus : Dr. Sharpe's distinction 
is mainly based on the final joint of the toe being always bare, 
sometimes the entire toe ; whereas in the northern form the toes 
are more thickly feathered and have even the last joint hidden. 

Darwin and Durnford do not record it. 

The haunt of the Magellan Owl is open country where there 
is scrubby undergrow^th. It is of much more nocturnal habit 
than the Short-eared Owd and the Burrowing Owl, yet flies readily 
in the daytime if disturbed. Its deep booming " Tuu-kukuru " is 
commonly heard in settlements at night. If disturbed in daytime, 
it is at no loss to protect itself, but flies readily and uegotiates 
a long, straight, powerful flight — of, it may be, several hundred 
yards — when it alights again, often on some coign of vantage, 
and looks out for pursuit. I have many times failed to get within 
shot of one when once disturbed. This specimen proved an 
exception ; — I shot it in scrub at close quarters with so puny 
a weapon as the •410. 

In more northerly regions this Owl's ways are some^vhat 
otherwise, — because, no doubt, the daylight is more powerful. 



SPEOTYTO CUNICULAEIA 31 

" Dice su nombre," Azara poetically observes, " fuerte y 
narigalmente, con que asusta a los que transitan de noche por los 
bosques elevaclos, que son sus palacios." 

D'Orbigny says : — " On ne le rencontre que dans les bois, et, 
surtout, dans ceux qui avoisinent les rivieres ou les lieux humides, 
principalement dans les plus toufFus, voisins de plaines ou tout 
au moins de clairieres. Le jour on le voit, le plus souvent, seul, 
isole, dormant sur les grosses branches les plus cachees des arbres 
toufFus, dans les endroits oil le soleil pt^netre pen. ISTous avons 
cru remarquer qu'il est sedentaire, et qu'il vient souvent au 
meme perchoir de jour, restant ainsi longtemps possesseur du 
meme bois ; aussi, excepte dans la saison des amours, ren- 
contre-t-on rarement deux de ces oiseaux I'un pres de I'autre. 
Surpris dans leur retraite de jour, ils cherchent peu a s'envoler, 
contents de siffler et de faire claquer leur bee, en se balan^ant 
d'un pied sur Tautre, sur leur branche ; cependant, quand on les 
approclie trop, ils s'envolent ; mais, eblouis par la lumiere du 
jour, ils se dirigent mal et cherchent promptement a se caclier 
dans le fourre voisin." 



SPEOTYTO CUNICULARIA (Molina) 

La ChOUette de CoquimbO, Brisson, OrmtJiohgie, i, p. 525, 1760. 
StriX CTiniCUlaria, Molina, Saggio Storia Nattirale Chili, p. 34^3, 1782. 
UrUCUrea, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La Plata, i, p. 214, 1802. 
Athene CUnicularia, Gould and Darwin, Voy. '^ Beagle," Birds, p. 31, 

1841 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 44, 1891. 
Noctua CUniCUlaria, JD'OrUgny, Voy. Amer. Merid., Ois., p. 128, 1835. 
SpeotytO CUniCUlaria, Sharpe, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., ii, p. 142, 1875; 

Sclater and Hudson, Argetitine Orn., ii, p. 52, 1889. 
Pholeoptynx CUnicularia, Bumford, Ibis, p. 161, 1876, p. 186, 1877. 

Habitat. — North and South. America. 

? , Useless Bay Settlement, 26th Aug. ; (J, 7th Sept., 1904. 
Iris — bright yellow j bill — yellow ; feet — yellowish drab. 



32 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

The Burrowing Owl is quite a feature of the land. It is 
common in the open country, though nothing like so plentiful 
as experienced by Darwin in the Argentine Pampas. There are 
those who say it is becoming extinct in sheep districts where the 
undergrowth has been eaten down : others believe its numbers 
are increasing. To me it appeared most numerous where the 
undergrowth had been eaten off. Yet it is difficult to explain 
this, for the sheep have almost trampled out Ctenomys^ the 
mole-like rodent which must formerly have constituted its 
chief food supply. There remain, it is true, vast numbers of a 
buff-coloured field mouse (^Rhithrodon) with large ears and eyes 
and a long tail, and these may suffice. In winter and early 
spring this Owl preys on rodents ; in summer largely coleoptera, 
in particular a brown chafer beetle (Aulacojjalpus pilicollis)^ 
as can be seen from the pelts. 

This Owl is quite as diurnal in habit as nocturnal, or more so. 
In the day-time, it can always be seen above ground. It flies 
at one aggressively, screeching, " Chiii-chi-chi-cM-chi.!' circling 
round, and then alights a short distance away, to await develop- 
ments. It occurs in pairs. Usually, both birds can be seen 
above ground, and make common cause against an intruder. 
In the breeding season I have several times come upon a pair 
above ground, and one has gone to earth, while the other has 
remained above to pursue harrassing tactics. 

Azara thus tersely and characteristically describes its ways : — 
" Habita los campos limpios, no los bosques, y se oculta en 
las cuevas de los Tatus y Vizcachas. No es arisco, y quando 
uno se le acerca canta fuerte ' Chm-chi-cM-chi-chi^^ dando un 
vuelito breve y posandose sobre algun terron, desde donde mira 
con insolencia al que se le aproxima; pero otras veces, y siempre 
que tiene miedo, se entra en la cueva, de la qual nunca se aleja." 

D'Orbigny's account is, perhaps, the best of all, and from this 
I make the following extract : — 

" Chaque couple choisit son canton, ou il s'^tablit pour la 
vie, ne voyageant pas, et ne permettant guere aux autres de 



SPEOTYTO CUNICULARIA 33 

s'etablir pr^s de lui. L'Urucurea prend pour domicile un terrier 
abandonne de tatous, de biscachas, de renards ou d'autres 
animaux des contrees qu'elle habite, et y passe sa vie; si I'on 
s'approclie de sa residence vers le milieu du jour, lieure a laquelle 
les autres oiseaux nocturnes sont plonges dans le sommeil le 
plus profond, on la trouve, quelquefois, dans son trou ; mais, 
le plus souvent au dehors, le male et la femelle I'un pres 
de I'autre. Elle voit, de tr^s-loin, ceux qui viennent troubler 
son repos, et fait entendre alors son cri de guerre ou d'alarme, 
qu' on pent exprimer par les monosyllabes tchii-tcliii-tchi-tclii 
longtemps prolonges. Elle s'envole pour aller se poser a 
quelques pas de la sur une butte, ou, tout en tournant la 
t^te avec crainte, et regardant, avec une efFronterie apparente, 
I'importun qui la derange, elle se laisse approcher de tr^s- 
pr^s, puis s'envole encore, ainsi que sa compagne, va se percher 
sur un tertre voisin, au sommet d'un petit buisson ou d'un 
chardon, et recommence son cri, ne pensant a s'aller cacher 
au fond de son terrier que lorsqu'elle a grand peur, ce qui 
est tres-rare. Elle reste ainsi toute la journee autour de 
son nid, chasse meme, quelquefois, pendant le jour ; cependant 
c'est de preference vers le soleil couchant, a I'lieure ou les 
petits rongeurs sortent de leur terriers, qu'elle commence 
sa chasse, en planant, comme le font les autres oiseaux 
de proie ; et nous avons cru remarquer qu'au milieu de la 
nuit elle se reposait de nouveau, pour chasser des le 
crepuscule du matin. II nous a semble qu'elle dormait 
egalement pendant les nuits obscures et pendant les fortes 
chaleurs du jour, chassant plus specialement le matin et 
le soir : le matin, apres le soleil leve, quelque temps encore ; 
ainsi que le soir, avant la nuit." 

" Sa pose habituelle, lorsqu'elle est a terre dans I'inaction, est 
presque perpendiculaire, les ailes basses, et la tete enfoncee entre 
les epaules ; si quelque bruit vient troubler sa tranquillite, ou si 
la sentinelle des autres oiseaux des plaines, le vanneau arme, fait 
retentir les environs de son cri d'alerte, I'Urucurea dresse la 



34 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL EUEGO 

t^te, et son attitude, alors, est grotesque ; clle tourne la tete de 
tous cot^s." 

" Quelques auteurs, comrae le p^re Feuillee et Molina, 
pretendent qu'elle se creuse des terriers profonds dans la 
campagne. II nous est, au contraire, d^montre qu'elle s'appro- 
prie un terrier de tatou, de renard, de mara, et, surtout, 
de biscacha, plus commode a cause de ses diverses issues et 
de ses divers compartimens souterrains ; aussi est-on certain 
de rencontrer TUrucurea dans les endroits oil la campagne 
est infestee de cette derni^re espece de mammifere. Lorsqu'un 
couple prend possession d'un de ces terriers, les veritables 
proprietaires sont obliges de I'abandonner, a cause de la tenacite 
de rUrucurea, et, sans doute, aussi, pour raison de proprete ; 
car la biscacha, si soigneuse, ne pent, a ce qu'il parait, supporter 
I'odeur d^sagr^able que porte avec elle I'Urucurea ; odeur 
commune, au reste, a tous les oiseaux de proie nocturnes." 

Darwin met with the Burrowiug Owl no further south than 
Rio Negro, Patagonia, in lat. 4]." S. 

" In Banda Oriental," he says, " it is its own workman, 
and excavates its burrow on any level spot of sandy soil ; but 
in the Pampas, or wherever the Bizcacha is found, it uses those 
made by that animal. During the open day, but more especially 
in the evening, these Owls may be seen in every direction, 
standing frequently by pairs on the hillock near their habitation. 
If disturbed, they either enter the hole, or, uttering a shrill, 
harsh cry, move with a remarkably undulatory flight to a short 
distance, and then turning round, steadily gaze at their pursuer. 
Occasionally in the evening they may be heard hooting. I found 
in the stomachs of two which I opened the remains of mice ; 
and I saw a small snake killed and carried away by one. It is 
said that reptiles are the common object of their prey during the 
day-time. Before I was aware, from the numbers of mice caught 
in my traps, how vastly numerous the small rodents are in these 
open countries, I felt much surprise how such infinite numbers 
of Owls could find sufiS.cient means of support." 




4^ ^ 









"West, !tTe'>/'rins.ii imp . 



GLAUCIDIUM IMAiSrUM 



GLAUCIDIUM NANUM 35 

Durnford says : — " It is an Owl of diurnal liabits, being fond 
of sitting on a thistle or clod of earth, whence it flies to seize 
insects on the wing. Its flight is midulatory, and performed by 
rapid strokes of the wings. . . . They have a curious and pretty 
habit of rising almost perpendicularly from the stone or clod of 
earth on which they have been perching, and toying or playing 
with each other in the air. Their principal food is mice." 

The Ona name is " Kitep.^' 



GLAUCIDIUM NANUM (King) 

StriX nana, King, Zool. Joum., iii, p. 427, 1828. 

Athene nana, Somlron et Jacquinot, Voy. " Astrolabe " et " Zelee" 

iii, p. 54, Atl. pi. iv, 1853. 
Glaucidium nanum, Sharpe, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., ii, p. 190, 1875 ; 

Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 56, 1889 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. 

Cap Horn, Ois., p. 45, 1891. 

Habitat. — Chili, the Argentine Republic, and Uruguay, to Tierra del Fuego. 

? , Rio McClelland Setblement, 23rd Dec, 1904. 
Iris — yellow ; bill and feet — greenish yellow. 

The Pigmy Owl was discovered by King in the Strait of 
Magellan on the " Adventure " Survey in 1827 : his type of the 
species is an inadult example, length 5f inches. 

This Owl has been obtained by the " Astrolabe " and " Zelee " 
South Polar Expedition, 1837-1840 ; by Cunningham in the 
" Nassau " ; by Coppinger in the " Alert " ; and by the French 
Mission to Cape Horn. 

D'Orbigny, Darwin, and Durnford do not record it. 

In the Catalogue of Birds in the British Museum, the length 
of the male is stated to be 8*0 inches, of the female 8'6 inches. 
This female measures in length 7*5 inches. Since the Catalogue 
of Birds was published, the series in the museum has increased 
to thirty, where before there were six examples. On examining 

6 



36 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

the entire series I find the maximum length of the male 7"5 
inches; of the female 8*6 inches, based on a somewhat attenuated 
specimen. 

This tiny Owl must be rare in the island; for, with the 
exception of Mr. Clarke, hardly any of the sheepmen with whom 
I was acquainted were aware of its existence until I secured this 
specimen. I owe it to the White-crested Tyrant. The shrill 
whistles and excited behaviour of one of these shy birds attracted 
my attention, and gave me the opportunity I wanted to 
observe it closely for the first time. I was wondering why 
it remained so lono; in the same tree and made so much 
noise, when, huddled up in a forked branch, I espied the Owl. 
I saw one other example — on two occasions — on the sea shore 
at the entrance to Admiralty Sound. Of this Owl's habits 
I know nothing. It must be entirely a forest form — probably 
extremely quiet and retiring, and difficult to observe. This 
specimen weighed exactly 3 ounces — or IJ ounces less than the 
Common Snipe of Great Britain — including in the stomach 
a small rodent. 



PSITTACI 

Family PSITTACIDiE 

CONURUS SMARAGDINUS (Gmelin) 
Perruche des Terres Magellaniques, Bufon, Hist. Nat. Ois., 

vii, pi. Ixxxv, 1783. 
PsittaCUS SmaragdinUS, Gmelin, Systema Naturce, i, p. 322, 1 788 ; 

King, Stirveying Voyages, " Adventure " and ^^ Beagle,'" i, p. 88, 1839. 
ConuruS smaragdinUS, Finsch, Papageien, i, p. 525, 1867 ; Oustalet, 

Miss. Sci. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 4, 1891. 
MicrOSittace ferrUgineUS, Salvadori, Oat. Birds Brit. Mus. 

XX, p. 210, 1891. 

Habitat. — Chili and Tierra del Fuego, 




Wesb,Nev(-marj imp. 



IPOCRANTOR MAGELLANiCUS 



IPOCRANTOE MAGELLANICUS 37 

The existence of such a bird as this Parrot in these high 
latitudes as reported by the early voyagers was for a long 
time discredited. 

It is common in flocks in the more open portions of the forest 
to the south of Useless Bay. Unfortunately, I did not at once 
secure specimens when I could very well have done so : ulti- 
mately, on visiting the places where I had seen them, I could 
not again come across any. 

It is plentiful in the forest behind Punta Arenas on the 
Patagonian mainland, but I never succeeded in finding more 
than their feathers. 

On the Survey of the " Adventure " in 1827, Capt. King 
met with it in all parts of the Strait, and he says it feeds 
principally upon the seeds of the Winter's -bark. 

At Sara Settlement, Mr. Rigby had a pair of these birds 
tame, which had been taken from a nest at the head of the 
Rio Chico. 



PIOI 

Family PICIDiE 

IPOCRANTOR MAGELLANICUS (King) 

PicUS magellanicus, King, Zool. Joum., iii, p. 430, 1828 ; Oustalet, 
Miss. Sci. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 46, 1891. 

MegapiCTlS magellanicus, Malherie, Piddees, i, p. 8, pi. ii, 1861. 

IpOCrantor magellanica, Eargitt, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus,, xviii, 
p. 480, 1890. 

Habitat. — Chili, and Tierra del Fuego. 

c? , ? , Rio McClelland Settlement, 4tli Dec, 1904. 
Iris— orange ; bill and legs — dark grey. 

6 * 



38 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

The Magellan Woodpecker was discovered and described by 
King from Port Famine. 

The series of sixteen in the British Museum, ranging from 
Punta Arenas to Valdivia, shows considerable variation in the 
wings and abdomen. In some adults of both sexes the inner 
webs of the secondaries are white throughout, in others only 
barred with white : in some the abdomen is all black, in others 
the feathers are tipped with white. 

In my two examples, representing adults of both sexes, the 
inner webs of the secondaries are white throughout — pinkish 
white rather than pure white — and the abdomens pure black. 

This Woodpecker is not a common bird. I came across no 
more than this one pair, though constantly in the forest to the 
south of Useless Bay. At the time of my ascent of Nose Peak — 
over eight hours severe going and nearly the same time returning 
to the seashore through almost impenetrable forest — I did not 
see or hear one. It may be the forest at this point is too dense. 
In the more open portions immediately south of Useless Bay, 
where the timber is large and much devastated by the larvse of a 
longicorn beetle, traces of their work are everywhere remarkable, 
but the birds themselves are rarely seen. Here, the dead standing 
trees must number quite thirty per cent. Grim and ghostly do 
these forests appear in this condition. The trees composing this 
forest are two species of cinnamon beech — Fagus antarctica and 
F. hetuloides. The insect responsible for much or all of this 
destruction is Microplophorus magellanicus, and on the larva3 of 
this the Woodpeckers chiefly subsist, working great holes in the 
rotten tree trunks to get at them. 

The stomachs of these two birds contained larvae, and one 
wing-case of the perfect beetle. 

The Ona name is "iTotereA." 




(A 

►1 
1-^ 

U 

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II] 
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Si. 

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TUEDUS MAGELLANICUS 39 

PASSERES 

Family TUEDID^ 
TURDUS MAGELLANICUS (King) 

TurduS magellaniCUS, King, Pro. Zool. Soc, p. 14, 1830; Durnford, 
Ibis, p. 392, 1878 ; Seebohm, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., v, p. 223, pi. xiv, 
1881; Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., i, j). 3,1888; Oustalet, Miss. 
Sci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 79, 1891. 

TurduS falklandiae (nee Quoy et Gaimard), D'Orbigny, Voij. Amer. 
Merid., Ois., p. 202, 1835. 

TurduS falklandicUS (nee Quay et Gaimard), Gould and Darwin, 
Zool. Voy. " Beagle," Birds, p. 59, 1841. 

Habitat. — Chili, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego ; Mas Afnera and Juan 
Fernandez Islands. 

? , Useless Bay Settlement, 26tli Aug. ; (^ , Rio McClelland Settlement, 
20th Dec, 1904. 

Iris — dark brown ; bill, eyelids, and legs — pale orange. 

D'Orbigny and Darwin have not distinguished this species 
from the closely allied T. falklandica. It differs — according to 
Seebohm — in having the head nearly black, the upper parts 
brown shading into dull slate on the rump, and the chin and 
upper throat greyish white ; where the Falkland Islands' form has 
the head chocolate brown, remaining upper parts rich russet 
brown suffused with olive on the rump, and the chin and upper 
throat pale russet brown. 

It is recorded by Darwin from Chiloe and Tierra del Fuego 
— no locality stated ; by the " Erebus " and " Terror " from 
Hermite Island ; and by the French Mission to Cape Horn from 
various points in the same region. Durnford met with 
a single specimen in Central Patagonia. 

The Magellan Thrush is common in scrub and in the out- 
skirts of forest ; it does not frequent bare grass-land, except in 
winter, when it may occasionally be seen in the neighbourhood 
of settlements. I shot my first specimen on the flats at Useless 



40 BIRDS OF TIERllA DEL FUEGO 

Bay Settlement, in winter, about ten miles from timber. No 
one can observe this bird without remarking that it has more of 
the impudent assertion of the Blackbird than of the deprecating 
manner of the Thrush. I was long in acquainting myself with 
its many calls. Should one intrude on its domain, it shows 
itself curiously hostile — mobbing one, following one persistently, 
and uttering shrill whistles. If disturbed from covert, it utters 
" Tut-tut ^'^ and flies out chuckling. On those still fine summer 
evenings which are all too rare in these boisterous regions, 
it sings from the tree-tops, far on into the night. The song 
is sweet and Thrush-like, but somewhat limited in conception. 
It gives one the idea of being practised rather than attained, 
breaking off somehow at its most interesting point ; it neverthe- 
less contains some beautiful full notes. Usually this Thrush 
is seen in pairs. The young, when fully able to fly, have the 
breast spotted similarly to that of the adult British Thrush. 

D'Orbigny says : — " Earement isolee, elle va plus ordinaire- 
ment par couple, mais jamais par troupes, et fnit la societe 
des autres oiseaux. Chose assez remarquable pour un oiseau 
pen inquiete par I'homme, elle est des plus sauvage. Ses mceurs 
sent celles de nos Grives ; son vol est court, saccade, peu 
prolonge, jamais eleve ; vive dans ses mouvemens, elle marche 
avec vitesse et fait souvent entendre une espece de siflSement de 
rappel entre les differens individus." 

Darwin sums it up as "tame, silent, and inquisitive." 

Durnford's specimen was in company with Myiotheretes 
rv.fiventris. 

The Ona name is ^^ KzoItsJ^ 



Family TROGLODYTIDJE 

TROGLODYTES HORNENSIS (Lesson) 

Troglodytes hornensis, Lesson, L'Listitut, p. 316, 1834; Sharpe, 
Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., vi, p. 257, 1881 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Cap Horn, 



t^TTTW 




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TROGLODYTES HORNENSIS 41 

Ois., p. 74, 1891 ; Oates and Reid, Cat. Birds' Eggs Brit. Mus., iv, p. 74, 
1905. 
Troglodytes magellaniCUS, Gould and Darwin, Voij. ^^ Beagle,' 
Birds, p. 74, 1841. 

Habitat. — Tlie Argentine Republic and Chili, to Tierra del Fuego. 

(^, San Sebastian Settlement, 29th Sept.; <?, c?? 30th Sept.; ? , Sara 
Settlement, 13th Oct. ; ^ , San Sebastian Settlement, 23rd Oct. ; three eggs, 
Rio McClelland Settlement, 12th Dec, 1904. 

Iris — brown ; bill and legs — drab. 

The Cape Horn Wren is determined by Dr. Sharpe as a pale 
isabelline race of T. musculus^ which includes T.furvus, having 
the tail more rufescent with pale-brown bars, and the under 
surface of a light vinous isabelline, deepening into tawny buff 
on the flanks and under tail- coverts. The under tail-coverts 
are generally uniform, but not always so, and some have distinct 
white tips with subterminal spot-like bars. 

The series in the British Museum shows considerable varia- 
tion in size and markings. 

My Tierra del Fuego birds are throughout uniform : even 
between the sexes, there is no outward difference. On the 
average, the series measures : — 

Length 4*7; culmen 0*6; wing 2*15 ; tarsus 0"7; tail 1*95 
inches. 

I had difiiculty in securing a female : of six examples shot 
and preserved by me, five were males. 

This Wren is one of the commonest birds in the scrubby 
bush composed of Chiliotinchum amelloideum and the black 
currant in the Sierra Carmen Sylva, also on the outskirts 
of dense forest. It does not occur in open grass-land. In its 
behaviour towards man it is curious and impudent. If one 
sits down to rest or stops to do anything, it appears on the 
scene, creeping on one through the undergrowth, hopping round, 
hanging head downwards, and uttering its petulant " C/iz-z-2 " 
in protest against intrusion. At such times, though deprecating 



^ 



42 BIEDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

one's presence find suspicious of one's intentions, it neverthe- 
less comes so close as almost to perch on one's person. At the 
time of taking the picture of the swamp in the Sierra Carmen 
Sylva, I was obliged to wait for nearly an hour for the light to 
improve. Hardly was my camera in position when one of these 
birds appeared in the bush in the immediate foreground, and 
there remained, scolding incessantly for as long as I w^as there. 
The song is short, but very cheery, and reminds one rather of 
the Chaffinch {Fringilla coelehs) : I should define it on paper 
as — " Cha-cha : chi-chi: chu-yiiy 

Darwin drew no distinction between T. hornensis and 
T. furvus. Writing of both as T. magellanicus, procured 
variously near Rio de Janeiro, on the banks of the La Plata, 
in Chili, throughout Patagonia, and in Tierra del Fuego, he 
says : — " Its habits resemble very closely those of the common 
Troglodytes of England. In the open country, near Bahia 
Blanca, it lived amongst the thickets and coarse herbage in the 
valleys; in Tierra del Fuego, in the outskirts of the forest. 
Its chirp is harsh." 

In the British Museum there is a specimen of this AYren 
which was taken at sea, on board H.M.S. "Amethyst," one 
hundred and forty miles N.W. of the Falkland Islands. 

I was never able to find a nest. At length, a woodcutter 
brought me one with three eggs, which he had taken from a 
hollow, in a stack of logs. The nest is a loose structure of 
grasses and feathers, amongst which last are those of Gay's 
Finch. The eggs are pinkish white, spotted with rusty 
red above, pink below, the spots forming a ring round the 
larger end. In the case of two, the markings are heavier than 
in the third, the latter being more finely marked and paler. 
They measure 0*65 by 0*5, 0'6 by 0*5, 0'65 by 0*5 inches. 



„>'^''»-t- 



\ 



^ M 







Wesb,]Srewinaji imp. 



CISTOTHORUS PLi^TENSIS 



CISTOTHOEUS PLATENSIS 43 



CISTOTHORUS PLATENSIS (Latham) 
Le Roitelet de Buenos Ayres, Buffon, Hist. Nat. Ois., vi, pi. 

dccxxx, 1770. 
Sylvia platensiS, Latham, Index Orn., ii, p. 548, 1790. 
Troglodytes platensis, Gould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle,'' Birds, 

p. 75, 1841. 
Troglodyte de marais, Homlron et Jacquinot, Voy. " Astrolale " et 

" Zelee," Atlas, pi. xix, 1853. 
CistothorUS platensis, Ahbott, Ibis, p. 153, 1861 ; Dtirnford, Ibis, 

p. 168, 1877; SJiarpe, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., vi, p. 244, ]881; Sclater 

and Hudson, Argentine Orn., i, p. 15, 1888. 

Habitat. — Southern Brazil and Bolivia, to Tierra del Fueofo ; the Falkland 



a" 3 



Islands. 



? , Useless Bay Settlement, 25th Aug. ; ? , 1st Sept., 1904. 
Iris — brown ; bill and legs — drab. 

There is a good series of the Marsh Wren in the British 
Museum, mostly in excellent condition, ranging from Chili to the 
Strait of Magellan and the Falkland Islands, and remarkably 
constant in form. 

If Azara's Troglodito del Basacaraguay has been hitherto 
correctly referred to this species, the life habits of the former as 
described by that great observer in Buenos Ayres differ widely 
from those of the bird met with by myself. 

" Es muy conocido por este nombre entre los Guaranis," says 
he, " aunqiie en Buenos Ayres le suelen llamar Eatoncito. Aquel 
nombre alude a su canto, y este d que, principalmente por invierno, 
corre los aleros del tejado, las grietas de las paredes y agujeros de 
los troncos, entrando a veces d los quartos, en busca de arafias y 
otros insectillos. Es comun sin abundar, y jamas se interna en 
los campos, ni pasa de la orilla de los bosques : las costas de estos, 
los matorrales, setos y pueblos, son su domicilio 5 pero tambien 
baxa al suelo, y anda d saltillos con ligereza, llevando casi siempre 
la cola levantada, y sin asustarse de las gentes." 

On the other hand, his account of T. del Todo Voz corresponds 
with my experience of C. platensis^ for he says : — " Habita 

7 



44 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL EUEGO 

•unicamente los campos que tienen mucho pasto alto y broza, donde 
se oculta, y pasa su vida sin salir hasta que le pisan. Por lo 
comun no se consigue hacerle volar sino tres veces, y despues es 
imposible precisarle d que saiga. Es esquivo, inquieto, y por 
las madriigadas y tardes trepa d saltillos por las varillas mas 
delgadas de las escobas 6 plantitas, levantando la cola ; pero no 
entra jamas en bosque, ni matorral, ni en las habitaciones." His 
rendering of the song of this bird practically corresponds with 
the song of C. platensis, whereas Basacaraguay if given the 
necessary accentuation is a possible representation of the song of 
the Cape Horn Wren (^Troglodytes hornensis). 

D'Orbigny follows Azara. 

In these circumstances, I deem it advisable to omit both these 
authorities from my references. 

The Marsh Wren is the first bird I collected in Tierra 
del Fuego. I should not consider it common, except localty in 
such conditions as are necessary to its existence — namely, open 
marsh land, in long coarse grass and reeds mostly growing in 
water. I only remember having come across it at the head 
of Useless Bay. There it is plentiful. It should also occur 
in the San Sebastian marshes. In a manner peculiar to 
itself, this Wren conceals itself in the grass, not taking wing 
until literally trampled out at one's feet. It then flies at 
the outside twenty or thirty yards, barely clearing the grass ; 
alights on a grass stalk ; works its way down into the grass ; and, 
either remains there, or runs along through and under it like a 
mouse. In vain may one trample the exact spot where one has 
been marked down. At times it flies readily. In fine weather 
it perches on the grass tufts, and sings after the manner of a 
Wren. How such a bird subsists in winter is a mystery. At 
the time I shot my first specimen, when winter was breaking, 
the marshes were covered with snow and ice, with here and 
there patches of water, and all below frozen hard. Yet the 
stomach contained insects and grass seeds. 

Darwin saj^s : — ^' In the Falkland Islands, it lives almost 



ANTHUS CORRENDEEA 45 

exclusively, close to the ground, in the coarse grass which 
springs from the peaty soil. I do not think I ever saw a bird 
which, when it chose to remain concealed, was so difficult to 
disturb. I have frequently marked one down to within a yard 
on the open grassy plain, and afterwards have endeavoured, 
quite in vain, by walking backwards and forwards over the same 
spot, to obtain another sight of it." 

Capt. Abbott says of it, also in the Falkland Islands : — 
"'How singular it is that this little bird should exist in such 
a place, where, if disturbed on a windy day, its power of flight 
is so weak that it is carried away by the wind ! Whenever 
1 wanted a specimen of this bird, I always followed it and 
knocked it down with my cap as it was creeping through 
the grass like a mouse. I have never been able to find its 
nest." 

Durnford found several near Lujan Bridge amongst the thick 
tufts of " Paja " grass, which there grows in about a foot of 
water. "These it is very unwilling to leave," he says, "and, 
when flushed, only flies a few yards, being very anxious to seek 
the shelter of another tuft. On alighting, it clings to a stout 
blade of grass, thence creeping, mouselike, into the thickest part. 
Its food consists of small insects, chiefly coleoptera." 

It is known to the Onas as " Tamamithiriy 



Family MOTACILLID^ 

ANTHUS CORRENDERA (Vieillot) 

Alondra COrrendera, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La Plata, ii, p, 2, 

1805. 
AnthUS COrrendera, Vieillot, JSfoicv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., xxvi, p. 491, 
1818; D'Orhigmj, Voy. Amer. Merid., Ois., p. 225, 1835; Gould and 
Darwin, Voy. ^'Beagle," Birds, p. 85, 1841; Abbott, Ibis, p. 153, 1861 3 
Durnford, Ibis, p. 392, 1878; Sharpe, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., x, p. 610, 
1885; Sclaier and Hudson, Argentine Orn., i, p. 17, 1888; Oustalet, Miss, 
Sci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 77, 1891. 

7 * 



46 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

Habitat. — Southern Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru, to Tierra del Fuego ; the 
Falkland Islands. 

^ , Useless Bay Settlement, 31st Aug. ; ^ , San Sebastian Settlement, 
4th Oct. ; three eggs, Sara Settlement, 16th Oct. ; one egg, Rio McClelland 
Settlement, 17th Dec., 1904. 

Iris — dark brown; bill — brown, shading into yellow at base of lower 
mandible ; legs and feet — flesh colour. 



The Correndera Pipit is at once recognizable, being the only 
member of its genus and family inhabiting the island. 

Its discoverer, Azara, immediately associated it with the bird of 
his native land, to which it is very nearly allied. Of its habits 
he says: — "Sigue por lo comun las veredas angostas del campo y 
los caminos con la cabeza levantada, atisvando siempre si viene 
algun Gavilan. Vive con otra 6 sola ; y aunque a veces se 
encuentran quatro 6 seis parejas cercanas, no se nota que obren 
acordes. Quando se les obliga a volar, no dilatan sus vuelos ; 
y es de los pdxaros mas comunes en el Paraguay y hasta el Rio 
de la Plata. Suele muchas veces irse elevando verticalmente 6 
con poco circulo, y baxando casi a plomo, cantando bastante bien 
en el descenso ; y repetir las subidas y baxadas mucho rato hasta 
la altura que se pierde de vista ; porque siempre sube mas que 
baxa, y concluye este juguete dexandose caer a plomo. A 
veces hace un zumbido extrano. El tiempo de sus canticos 
y ascensos es el del amor : esto es por Septiembre y 
Octubre, y rarisima vez canta en el suelo, donde se posa 
siempre ; y jamas le he visto en arbol, sino en muy rara ocasion 
sobre alguna matilla." 

Darwin says : — " It does not live in flocks, is very common, 
and resembles a true Alauda in most of its habits." 

What he says of being informed by a sealer that this is the 
only land-bird on Georgia and South Orkney (lat. 61° S.) applies 
to another species, since described as A. antarctica, whose range 
appears to be confined to that region. 

Capt. Abbott says : — " It leaves the Falkland Islands about 



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ANTHUS CORRENDERA 47 

the end of April, after having finished breeding ; at any rate 
I have never in all my wanderings seen one of them later 
than this period of the year. They return to the vicinity of 
Stanley about September, and breed in the beginning of October, 
laying three eggs in an open cup-shaped nest at the root of the 
long grass." 

Durnford says of it in Central Patagonia : — " Resident. 
Common in the valleys and on the hills. In the winter they 
associate in small parties and frequent the lower lands." 

I found this Pipit common in open country, at all altitudes, 
from sea level to the top of the Sierra Carmen Sylva. Shortly 
after landing at the end of winter, I shot my first specimen on 
the bare flats at Useless Bay Settlement, where the only other 
small land bird to be seen living in similar conditions was 
Geositta cunicidaria. In sj^ring and summer it soars high into 
the air, and has a beautiful song. Geese excepted, the nests are 
more often found than those of any other bird. A day's ride 
is productive of three or four at least, with no more efibrt than 
alighting to examine the ground when the bird rises in front 
of one's horse. But it is not easy to discover the nest, 
unless the exact spot is marked where the bird rose, as this is 
usually sunk in a hollow, completely masked by grass. The nest 
is built entirely of fine grasses. In all, I must have seen about 
thirty nests, with eggs or young. The usual number of eggs 
is three. I do not remember having seen more than this 
number. The breeding period seems to be of longer duration 
than in the case of the majority of birds. My first nest was 
taken at Sara Settlement, October 16th. As late as about the 
beginning of January, I found nests with young on the downs 
to the south of Useless Bay. The egg is of blunt oval shape, 
greenish white — where ground colour is visible — thickly blotched 
with vinaceous brown, lighter and somewhat mauve coloured 
beneath. The three Sara Settlement eggs measure 0*8 inch 
in length: two are 0'65, one 0'6 inch, in diameter. The Qgg 
from Rio McClelland Settlement measures 0'85 by 0"65 inch. 



48 BIRDS OF TIERKA DEL FUEGO 

Family HIRUNDINIDiE 

TACHYCINETA MEYENI (Cabanis) 

HirundO leUCOpyga {nee. Lichtensteiii), Meyen, Nova Acta Kaiserliche 

Leopoldino-Oarolinische Deutsche AJcad. Nat. Suppl., p. 73, pi. x., 1834. 
PetrodLelidon meyeni, Cabanis, Museum Reineanum, 1, p. 48, 1850, 
Tachycineta meyeni, Sharpe, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., x, p. 116, 1885. 
HirundO meyeni, Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 49, 1891. 

Habitat. — Bolivia, Chili, Southern Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego. 

? , Rio McClelland Settlement, 22nd Jan. ; ? , 24th Jan., 1905. 
Iris — black ; bill and legs — drab. 

The earliest date I remarked the appearance of Meyen' s Martin 
was 30th October, when I saw a pair on the scrub-covered slopes 
of the Sierra Carmen Sylva, above San Sebastian Settlement. 
On that day I also saw my first butterfly {Tatochtla argyrodice). 
There were Martins, however, at Rio McClelland Settlement 
earlier than this, from what Mr. Clarke tells me. 

In summer these birds are plentiful everywhere at the lower 
altitudes, and they have an abundant food supply in the myriads 
of midges ( Ghironomidce) and other winged insects which 
swarm at this season. On horseback there are usually some in 
attendance, following one to snap at the flies one carries with 
one, or disturbs by the way. 

I observed them breeding in hollow trees in the valley of the 
Rio McClelland. 



ATTICOEA CYANOLEUCA (Vieillot) 

Golondrina de lOS timoneles negrOS, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay 

y La Plata, ii, p. 508, 1805. 
HirundO Cyanoleuca, Vieillot, Nouv. Did. d'Hist. Nat., xiv, p. 609, 

1817 ; Gould and Danvin, Voy. " Beagle," Birds, p. 41, 1841. 
HirnndO minuta, Temminck, Planches Coloriees, iv, pi. ccix, 1823. 



\. J, 



^ A 




WestjNewman imp. 



CHRYS OMITRIS BARB ATA 



CHRYSOMITRIS BARBATA 49 

Atticora Cyanoleuca, Bumford, ibis, pp. 32, 170, 1877, p. 392, 1878; 
Sharpe, Oat. Birds Brit. Mus., x, p. 186, 1885 ; Sclater and Hudson, 
Argentine Orn., i, p. 33, 1888. 

Habitat. — Central America, througliout South America, to Tierra del Fuego. 

There is no difficulty in identifying the little Blue-backed 
Swallow, from its uniformly dark upper surface, its small size, 
and its habit of flying close to the ground. It is not plentiful 
as compared with Meyen's Martin. Amongst a hundred of the 
latter one might perhaps see on an average one or two pairs. 

Darwin records this Swallow from Bahia Blanca, in Patagonia. 

Durnford says : — " It arrives in the Province of Buenos Ayres 
at the end of September, generally leaving in March, but on one 
occasion I observed a pair on 30th April. It always reminds me 
of the Sand Martin at home. In its habit of flying close to the 
ground and frequenting the neighbourhood of pools and streams, 
from which it never wanders far, it is essentially like that bird. 
It nests in holes in the banks of 'arroyos,' sandpits, and similar 
localities." 

On warm days in the winter, he observed a few at Chupat; 
but the great majority left at the approach of cold weather. 



Family FRUSTGILLIDiE 
CHRYSOMITRIS BARBATA (Molina) 

Fringilla barbata, Molina, Saggio Storia Naturale, Chili, p. 247, 

1782. 

ChrySOmitriS Campestris, Gould and Darwin, Voy. '^Beagle," Birds, 
p. 89, 1841. 

Chrysomitris magellanica (nee Vieillot), Abbott, ibis, p. 154, 1861. 

ChrySOmitris marginaliS, Cassin, U.S. Astron. Exp., p. 181, pi. xrii, 

1855. 
Chrysomitris barbata, Bumford, ibis, p. 172, 1877 ; Sharpe, Cat. 

Birds Brit. Mus., xii, p. 21(5, 1888 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Cap Horn, Ois., 

p. 99, 1891. 



50 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

Habitat. — Chili, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 

S, Rio McClelland Settlement, 1st Dec; ? , 7th Dec. ; c?, 8th Dec, 1904. 
Iris — black ; bill — grey ; legs — dark drab. 

The British Museum series of twenty-five are generally lighter 
coloured than the Tierra del Fuego birds, especially on the 
lower portion of the breast and the abdomen : the former are 
ashy white in this region, whereas the latter birds are yellowish 
green. 

This Siskin is quite the finest songbird in the island. It 
reminds one much of the Groldfinch (^Carduelis elegans) in habits 
and cheery twittering song. It is common in forest country 
where there are open glades of grass-land. It dashes about 
from tree clump to tree clump, twittering on the wing. It is 
ever restless, never remaining long in any one place. Much of 
its time it is in the leafy branches of trees where foliage is 
thick, to feed on larvae. Commonly, also, it feeds on plants 
and grasses on the ground. 

Darwin records it from the forests of Tierra del Fuego, and 
Valparaiso. 

In the Falkland Islands it is apparently rare. Capt. Abbott 
states the only instance he knows of its occurrence there was 
a flock of five in a garden near Stanley in August 1860, one of 
which was killed and is in Dr. Sclater's collection. 

Durnford says : — " They are generally found in flocks, and in 
the neighbourhood of trees or low scrub. They have a habit 
of hanging, Tit-like, from a twig. Their food consists of small 
seeds, and, judging from their fondness for the large thistle, 
chiefl}^ of the seed of that plant." 

The stomachs of all specimens examined by me contained 
phytophagous larvae. 



ZONOTRICHIA CANICAPILLA 51 



ZONOTRICHIA CANICAPILLA (Gould) 

Rusty-collared Finch., Latham, Synopsis Birds, 8uppl.,u, p. 170, 1787. 
Zonotricllla Canicapilla, Gould and Darwin, Yoij. " Beagle," Birds, 

p. 91, 1841; Durnford, Ibis, p. 33, 1877, p. 393, 1878; Sclater, Ibis, 

pp. 46-48, pi. i, 1877 ; Sharpe, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., xii, p. 609, 1888 ; 

Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., i, p. 59, 1888 ; Oustalet, Miss. Set. 

Cap Earn, Ois., p. 95, 1891. 

Habitat — Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. 

^Eggs, Rio McClelland Settlement, 9th Dec; 1 egg, 17th. Dec, 1904 j 
? , Panta Arenas, 17th Feb., 1905. 
Iris — brown ; bill — grey ; legs — drab. 

The Song Sparrow is a common bird, especially in scrub- 
covered country. It breeds in the island, but I am not sure 
whether it is entirely resident. The first specimen I saw was 
one shot near Useless Bay Settlement, about the middle of 
September. On moving to San Sebastian Settlement a little later, 
I found it fairly plentiful on the scrub- covered slopes of the 
Sierra Carmen Sylva, and remarked an increase in numbers from 
day to day as spring set in. 

Common as it is, I did not set myself to obtain a skin 
until my return to Punta Arenas. 

It has a pretty plaintive song. Its favourite haunt is brush- 
wood, and the outskirts of forest. It perches and sings on the 
tops of bushes ; at other times it lurks in their darkest depths. 

Darwin says: — "It is not uncommon in Tierra del Fuego, 
wherever there is any open space. Of the few birds inhabiting 
the desert plains of Patagonia, this is the most abundant. At 
Port Desire I found its nest : egg about '83 in length ; form 
somewhat more elongated than in that of the last species ; 
colour, pale green, almost obscured by minute freckles and 
clouds of pale dull red." 

Durnford says of it in Patagonia : — " Abundant, and often to 
be seen hopping familiarly about the colonists' cottages. It nests 

8 



52 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

amongst coarse grass or brushwood, making an unpretending 
structure of the former material, the finer fibres being placed 
towards the interior. It lays four eggs, measuring '8 by '6 of an 
inch, of a pale green colour, thickly striated with light reddish 
brown spots, running into each otlier, and most numerous at the 
larger end. ... It has a pretty little warble, which it sings in 
the evening and during the night when the moon is shining ; and 
often whilst lying awake under my ' Yergas ' and Guanaco robe, 
this Sparrow kept up its song within a few yards of my head." 

On the downs to the south of Useless Bay I obtained a nest 
with two eggs ; also a single egg. The nest I have was placed 
in a hollow in open ground, and entirely constructed of grasses. 
The eggs are of blunt oval shape ; pale green, thickly mottled 
with reddish brown ; markings horizontal with axis and having 
the appearance of splashes. All three examples measure 0*85 
by 0*6 inch. 

The stomach of this specimen contained insects. 



PHRYGILUS GAYI (EydoiTX et Gervais) 

Pringilla gayi, Eydoux et Gervais, Mag. de Zool. 1834, CI. ii, 

Aves, pi. xxiii, 1834; Gould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle,'^ Birds, p. 93, 

1841. 
Pringilla formOSa, Gould and Banvin, Voy. " Beagle,'' Birds, p. 93, 

1841. 
Phrygilus gayi, Sharpe, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xii, p. 781, 1888 ; 

Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orw.,i, p. 52, 1888 ; Oustalet, Miss. 8cd. 

Cap Horn, Ois., p. 84, 1891. 

Habitat. — Chili, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego. 

cJ, Rio McClelland Settlement, 26tli Nov., 1904 ; ^, 12tli Jan. ; ? , Punta 
Arenas, 17th Feb., 1905. 

Iris — brick-red ; bill — light grey, dark points ; legs — light drab. 

My first acquaintance with Gay's Finch was in the forest 
country to the south of Useless Bay. A male pecking vigorously 




Wesb^Nevmian imp- 



PHRYGILUS GAYI 



PHEYGILUS GAYI 53 

at a raw sheep's head fell a victim to the '410 — an act of 
necessity, yet of regret on my part. The following morning 
I saw the female with her head in a beef bone within a few 
yards of me, but could not bring myself to kill her. A pair 
became residents on the premises of the manager's house at 
Rio McClelland Settlement. They appeared on the scene as 
soon as it was occupied, and remained during my two months' 
stay. Much as I desired a female, I had not the heart to kill 
one of the pair. Ultimately, I secured one on the mainland 
in the forest behind Punta Arenas. 

In its first state of nature, this handsome Finch inhabits 
forest depths and outskirts. I have never seen it in open 
country. It possesses an individuality entirely its own. It 
is friendly to man, and frequents human habitations where 
it subsists largely — if not wholly — on refuse. 

The merry habits and untiring energy of this Finch make it 
a most interesting pet at large. The pair at Eio McClelland 
Settlement used to exploit a refuse pit at the back of the house. 
It devolved on my host Clarke or myself to light the fire, 
and make tea in the early mornings. However early the 
avalanche of ashes into the pit, it dislodged the Finches, to 
dash out and return when the dust had cleared. Other 
dependents on the pit were a family of Sparrows, but these were 
never allowed there by the Finches until their wants had been 
satisfied. If it came on wet, they took shelter in a pile of dead 
forest wood brought in for kitchen use. They never sang about 
the house, beyond the merest twitter when taking wing. 

In the forest, this Finch has a remarkable song — " Cha-che- 
chi : CJia-che-cM : cke-cM'^ — the first two notes of the three in 
the same key, the third higher, and the second of the two also 
higher than the first. 

In the stomachs of the male and female shot in the forest 
I found — in one case grass seeds and gravel, in the other gravel 
only. 



8 



m 



54 BIHDS OF TIEEEA DEL FUEGO 

PHRYGILUS MELANODERUS (Quoy et Gaimaid) 

Emberiza melanodera, Quoy et Qaimard, Voy. " JJranie" Zool. 1, 

p. 109, 1824. 
Chlorospiza melanodera, Gould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle" Birds, 

p. 95, pi. xxxii, 1841. 
PhrygiluS melanoderus, Abbott, ibis, p. 153, 1861; Sharpe, Oat. 

Birds Brit. Mus., xii, p. 786, 1888. 

Habitat — Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 

(^ ?, Useless Bay Settlement, lOth Sept.; ?, Sara Settlement, llth 
Oct., 1904. 

Iris — brown, so narrow scarcely distinguisiiable ; bill — horn colour ; 
legs — black. 

This Finch is a difficult bird to determine in its varying 
phases of plumage, all the more so as its very near ally P. xantho- 
grammus so closely resembles it as to be scarcely distinguishable 
except by its greater size. It may help matters if I give a full 
description of my pair of Tierra del Fuego birds in perfect 
condition, illustrated by a plate. 

c?, General colour above, ashy grey; feathers on back and 
rump barred with green ; lesser wing coverts, bright olive yellow, 
slightly tipped with grey ; median coverts canary yellow, tipped 
with grey ; primary quills white, outer web canary yellow, 
shading into dusky brown at tips, more especially on inner 
portion ; secondaries similarly coloured, but darker, with 
whitish edges at the ends, tertials with black on the inner 
web towards the tips ; alula and tips of primary coverts black ; 
centre feathers of tail green, becoming grey at tips ; outer feathers 
canary yellow, shading into white at tips, the feathers nearing 
the centre having the tips of the inner web almost black ; lores 
black, bordered by a white line, including the eye, the white line 
on centre of throat somewhat yellow ; sides of breast and flanks 
ashy grey ; breast canary yellow, shading into white on the vent 
and under tail coverts, the latter yellow at the base; under wing 
coverts and axillaries like the breast. Total length, 6.0 ; 
culmen, O'o5 ; wing, 3*6 ; tarsus, 0'9 ; tail, 2'45 inches; 

? , General colour, brownish grey, feathers of crown and back 




R< 



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PHRYGILUS MELANODERUS 55 

strongly mottled with black centres ; scapulars like the back ; 
lesser wing coverts yellowish green, with whitish edges forming 
a bar ; median coverts like the back, with outer edges white, 
forming a second bar ; primary coverts brown, upper outer 
portion of web pale yellow ; primaries greyish brown, outer edges 
canary yellow, becoming paler towards the tips ; upper tail 
coverts same as back ; centre feathers of tail greenish brown, 
shading into dark bro^vn towards the tips ; outer feathers canary 
yellow at base, shafts brown, inner portion of web brown, 
increasing in extent towards middle feathers; feathers of fore- 
neck and sides of throat streaked with black ; centre of throat 
sandy white ; sides of breast and flanks streaked with black, the 
latter more strongly ; breast yellow, shading into whitish on 
abdomen and under tail coverts ; under wing coverts and 
axillaries pale yellow ; under tail coverts white, at the base 
yellow. Total length, 5*6 ; culmen, 0*55 ; wing, 3*3 ; tarsus, 
0*9 ; tail, 2*1 inches. 

I found this Finch common on open grassland, in flocks of 
from half-a-dozen to twenty or more. My pair from Useless Bay 
Settlement were in company with another pair, and both birds 
were killed by the same "410 cartridge. So nearly does the 
general colouring of this Finch assimilate its environment on the 
ground, that, when motionless, only the black throat barred with 
white catches the eye. It is one of the prettiest birds met with 
in the island, but beyond this has no remarkable personality — as 
in the case of P. gayi. It is often met with in settlements, yet 
manifests no attachment for man. Beyond the merest twitter 
usually uttered on the wing, it has no song. It is apparently 
granivorous ; the stomachs of my three examples contained 
grass seeds. 

Darwin speaks of this Finch as " extremely abundant in large 
flocks in the Falkland Islands." 

There, also, Abbott found it "plentiful everywhere, summer 
and winter." He says : — "It breeds in the latter end of Sep- 
tember and beginning of October, laying three eggs in a nest 
situated under the shelter of a tuft of grass. In the winter the 



56 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

plumage of the male loses all its rich colour and assimilates to 
that of the female. Of the second so-called species of this genus, 
Phrygilus xanthogrammus, I know nothing, and I do not believe 
it different from the former." 



Family ICTERIDiE 
CURiEUS ATERRIMUS (Kittlitz) 

TurdUS CtirseuS, Molina, Saggio, Storia Naturale Chili, p. .345, 1782. 
StlirnUS aterrimUS, Kittlitz, Mem. Acad. 8c. St. Petersh., p. 467, 

pi. ii, 1835. 
PsaroCOlius CUrseuS, Gassin, U.S. Astron. Exp., ii, p. 178, pi. xv, 1855. 
CuraeUS aterrimuS, Sclater, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., xi, p. 354, 1886 ; 

Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 101, 1891. 

Habitat. — Chili, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego. 

$ , San Sebastian Settlement, 4tli Oct., 1904. 
Iris — greyish black ; bill and legs — black. 

The earliest British collector appears to be Capt. King, as 
there is a specimen of his from Chili in the British Museum. 

Darwin does not record it, nor does Durnford. 

The Black Starling is a common bird in the scrub-covered 
well-watered slopes of the Sierra Carmen Sylva, also in similar 
country elsewhere. It is resident the entire year. 1 was sur- 
prised to find some British settlers eating it in the belief that 
it is a " Blackbird " — as of course it is, in colour at any 
rate. Usually it is met with in companies of half-a-dozen or 
more. It perches freely on bushes, and is a vociferous songster. 
If one of a company takes wing, all follow ; and again congregate 
closely, singing vigorously. They have a habit of coming to one 
from a distance, and sometimes follow one in this way again 
and again. This is nothing more than friendly curiosity ; for they 
ahght quite close in the most confiding manner, and at once burst 
out into song — one bird leading ofi^ and all joining in. 

On one occasion, I remember sitting down amongst scattered 
bushes in a steep grassy valley to get my hand camera into 
position to take a picture ; and, as I was waiting for the light to 




ft 



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TRUPIALIS MILITARIS 57 

improve, a flock came and perched quite close all round me- — 
some on bushes, some on the ground — and remamed while I 
was there, singing lustily. 

Principally this Starling seeks its subsistence in moist, 
spongy ground. LarvsB and mature insects are its food. 



TRUPIALIS MILITARIS (Linn^us) 

SanSOnnet des lies MalOUineS, Pemety, Voy. lies Malomnes, 

ii, 569, pi. vii, 1769. 
SturnUS militariS, Linvcens, Mantissa, p. 527, 1771. 

iStourneau des Terres Magellaniques, Bt'^ffon, Hist. Nat. Ois., 

iii, p. 220, pi. cxiii, 1774. 
Sturnella militariS, Gotdd and Darwin, Voy. "Beagle," Birds, p. 110, 

1841; Cassin, U.S. Sxpl Exp., ii, p. 179, pi. xvi, 1855; Abbott, Ibis, 

p. 153, 1861 ; Durnford, Ibis, p. 33, 1877, p. 394, 1878. 
Trupialis militaris, Sclater, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., xi, p. 356, 1886 ; 

Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., i, p. 104, 1888 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. 

Cap Horn, Ois., p. 103, 1891. 

Habitat — Chili, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego ; tlie Falkland Islands. 

^, San Sebastian Settlement, 27th Oct. ; (^ , 30th Oct., 1904. 
Iris —brown ; bill — horn colour ; legs and feet — light grey. 

The Military Starling with its brilliant scarlet breast is one 
of the few birds specially noticed by Pernety in the Falkland 
Islands in 1764. He alludes to it as " une espece de 
San sonnet, le dessous de cou & le ventre d'un tres beau rouge, 
qui tient cependant un pen de la couleur de feu," and gives 
a woodcut of the bird itself. 

Hitherto, Punta Arenas appears to have been the most 
southerly point of its known range. 

Darwin records it from 31° S. on the east coast of the 
mainland to the Falkland Islands, and from the Strait of 
Magellan up the west coast as far as Lima, from which it seems 
he did not note any difference between this and the more 
northerly form, T. defilippi — distinguishable by smaller size, and 
having the under wing coverts black instead of white. 



58 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

The female is stated by Dr. Sclater to be similar in colouring 
to the male. I have handled several, and they appear to me 
generally paler in the scarlet of the head, breast, and wing — 
in some cases almost white. 

The Military Starling is a conspicuous bird, being — as it is — 
such a departure in colouring in a world where all else is generally 
so subdued in tone. Scrub -covered hills and valleys and the out- 
skirts of forest are its haunt. The scarlet breast is visible two 
hundred yards away. The ordinary number seen is a pair, or at 
most four or five together. It is very much a Starling in its 
ways, also in its limited song. It runs hither and thither on 
the ground, nodding and bobbing, feeding for dear life. The 
flight is powerful but somewhat heavy. The song — if song it can 
be called — is extraordinarily laboured. It is usually uttered from 
a tree top or bush especially towards evening, and may be imitated 
by inflating the lungs with air and expelling it through pursed-up 
lips in a long drawn expiring whistle — " W-li-i-i : y-o-o-oT It 
takes some effort on the part of the bird to deliver it : the throat 
can be seen expanding thirty yards away. I found this Starling 
unusually hard lived. It has the hardest cranium I have seen in 
a bird of its size *, and a powerful bill, sharp claws, and tough skin. 
Capt. Abbott says it is very common in the Falkland 
Islands. " It sits on a bush," he adds, " and sings very sweetly on 
a summer's morning. It begins to breed in the first week in 
October. The nest is built amongst long grass or rushes. It is 
rather deep, but open at the top, and not domed over, and 
generally contains three eggs." 

Durnford says: — "It is of all birds, excepting water-birds 
and reed-living birds, the surest indicator of the presence 
of water in the thirsty plains of Patagonia, never being found 
far from this element, and being consequently of great use to 
travellers." 

There were several ticks {Ixodes tlioracicus)* on the head of 
my second example. 

All specimens dissected by me contained coleoptera. 
* Thus determined for me by Mr. A. S. Hirst. — R. C. 




_2_ 
3 



West.Newman imp. 



AGRIORNIS ilVIDA 



AGRIORNIS LIVIDA 59 

Family TYRANNIDiE 

AGRIORNIS LIVIDA (Kittlitz) 

ThamnophiluS lividus, KittUtz, Mem. VAcad. St. Petersb., ii, p, 465, 

1835. 
TyrannuS gUtturaliS, Eydoux et Gervais, Voy. "Favorite," Ols., 

p. 32, pi. xi, 1839. 
Pepoaza livida, B'OrUgny, Voij. AmSr. Merid., Ois., p. 351, 1835. 
AgriorniS gUtturaliS, Gould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle," Birds, 

p. 56, 1841. 
Agriornis livida, Sdater, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., xiv, p. 4, 1888. 

Habitat. — Chili, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego. 

(^ Useless Bay Settlement, Sth Sept. ; ? San Sebastian Settlement, 
27th Oct., 1904. 

Iris — brown ; bill and legs — dark brown. 

The Great Tyrant has been collected by King, Darwin, and 
Lord Byron in Central Chili — the furthest south it has been 
hitherto recorded. There, it has hitherto been held to give place 
to the smaller A. striata discovered by Darwin in Southern 
Patagonia. It now proves to occur after what appears to be 
a gap in its distribution. 

The British Museum possesses a series of eight from various 
localities in Chili, and ten from Northern Patagonia recently 
acquired. 

The measurements recorded by Dr. Sclater for this species 
are : — 

Length 9*5, wing 5'0, tail 4*5 inches. 

My Tierra del Fuego birds measure : — 
c? length 11*8, culmen 1*25, wing 5 '8, tarsus 1*55, tail 4' 9 inches. 
? „ 11-6, „ 1-25, „ 5-5, „ 1-5, „ 4-6 „ 

They are olive-brown above, rather than " cinereous " like 
the Chili birds. 

Northern Patagonian specimens are in agreement with the 
birds from Tierra del Fuego. 

9 



60 lURDS OF TIKRliA DEL FUEGO 

The bird, therefore, of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, 
amounts to a distinct race. 

The acumination of the two outer primaries at once 
distinguishes the adult male. There is some little difference 
in the colouring of this pair: the male shows less white on 
the outer web of the primaries and secondaries ; the breast 
and abdomen have not the decided cinnamon tinge ; the 
outer web of the outer tail feathers shows more yellowish 
white. 

This Tyrant is not common. I saw four, at odd times, at 
long distances from one another. It is a solitary, silent creature, 
of mysterious habit, appearing and vanishing as unexpectedly as 
rapidly. It frequents thick scrub, such as the dense growth of 
CMliotrichum amelloideum in the Sierra Carmen Sylva where 
I shot my second example. 

D'Orbigny records it " excessivement commune aux environs 
de Valparaiso." 

Darwin says nothing of its habits beyond that "he was 
assured by the inhabitants that it is a very fierce bird, and that 
it will attack and kill the young of other birds." 

However this may be, the stomachs of my specimens 
contained only coleoptera ; but the large powerful bill, with 
its remarkable hook at the extremity, is certainly intended to 
cope with other prey than these. 



MYIOTHERETES RUPIVENTRIS (Vieillot) 

Pepoaza Vientre roxizO, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La Plata, ii, 

p. 172, 1805. 
TyrannUS ruflventriS, Vieillot, Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., xxxv, p. 93, 

1819. 
XolmiS Variegata, Gotild and Darwin, Voy. ''Beagle," Birds, p. 55, 

pi. xi, 1841. 
Pepoaza variegata, D'OrUgny, Voy. Amer. Merid., Ois., p. 349, 

pi. xxxix, 1835. 



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MYIOTHERETES RUFIVENTRIS 61 

Myiotheretes ruflventris, Bumford, lUs, p. 175, 1877, p. 394, 

1878; Sclater, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., xiv, p. 8, 1888; Sclater and 
Hudson, Argentine Orn., i, p. 112, 1888; Oustalet, Miss. 8ci. Gap Horn, 
Ois., p. 51, 1891. 

Habitat. — Bolivia and Paraguay, to Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego. 

cJ Useless Bay Settlement, 8rd N'ov., 1904. 
Iris — brown ; bill and legs — black. 

All expeditions recording the handsome Chocolate Tyrant 
have found it uncommon in all localities. This was my 
experience. In six months I saw two solitary examples — 
one in the Sierra Carmen Sylva, some twelve miles to the 
south of Useless Bay Settlement ; the other on the Cheena 
Creek plateau in the same country as that frequented by 
Attagis and Eudromias. Its haunt is high black-looking 
peaty wind-swept moorland, where there are stretches of 
quaking bog, and in the firmer ground no other vegetation 
than hummocks of Azorella, scattered grass tufts, and the 
crowberry {Emj)etrum nigrum). It is a remarkable bird, 
not likely to be overlooked by anyone who encounters it ; 
not only is its colouring conspicuous, but its habits are 
such as attract attention. It takes wing readily, flies low, 
skimming the ground, and perches on whatever elevation 
is available — hummock or stone — challenging one as it were 
by fluttering its wings. It runs along the ground in sharp 
rushes, pulling up with its head in the air. It reminds one 
much of the Fieldfare. 

Azara met with what he believed to be these birds at Rio 
Santa Lucia, in Uruguay, and he thus characteristically 
describes their habits : — " Caminaban con soltura y ligereza por 
los campos, que alii son muy pelados, cogiendo insectos en el 
suelo. Alguna vez subian sobre las pequenas motas de tierra, 
porque alii no habia varillas ni arboles. Su volar es descansado." 

D'Orbigny is for himself exceedingly brief, but to the 
point, in disposing of so remarkable a bird : — " Ses habitudes 



62 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

nous parurent analogues k celles des Moteux : elle relevait la 
queue chaque fois qu'elle se posait et qu'elle s'envolait. Comme 
il n'y a pas de buissons dans le lieu qu'elle habite, elle se perche 
sur les points culminans, tout en etant bien plus marcheuse que 
les esp^ces precedentes, dont pourtant elle a le vol et les allures." 

Darwin's note at once serves to identify it : — " It feeds 
in small flocks, often mingled with the Tcferi] Plovers, 
and other birds on the ground. Its manner of flight and 
general appearance never failed to call to my recollection our 
cunning Fieldfares {Tardus pilaris)^ and I may observe that 
its plumage (in accordance v/ith these habits) is difl^erent 
from that of the rest of the genus. I opened the stomachs 
of some specimens killed at Maldonado, and found in them 
seeds and ants. At Bahia Blanca I saw these birds catching 
on the wing large stercovorous coleoptera ; in this respect 
it follows the habits, although in most others it differs from 
those of the rest of its tribe." 

Durnford says of it in the Province of Buenos Ayres : — 
" A winter visitor, but rare. In the air its long, pointed, almost 
Plover-like wing, and on the ground its bold upright position 
are sufficient to establish its identity. Its habits seem generally 
like those of the other ToBnioptercB ; and it is always in a 
restless state, flitting from a clod of earth to the top of a 
thistle, or making a sudden dart at some passing insect. The 
stomach of the one I shot contained a large hairy caterpillar 
and some remains of coleoptera." 

Durnford often found it consorting with Oreoi^hilus 
rujicoUis. 

The stomach of my specimen contained coleoptera. 



TiENIOPTERA PYROPE (Kittlitz) 

MuSCicapa pyrope, Kittlitz, Mem. I'Acad. St. Petersb., i, p. 191, 
pi. X, 1831. 



T^NIOPTERA PYROPE 63 

Pepoaza pyrope, B'OrMgny, Voy. Amer. Merid., Ois., p. 348,1835. 
XolmiS pyrope, Gould and Darwin, Voy. ^^ Beagle,'' Birds, p. 55, 

1841. 
Tsenioptera pyrope, Sclater, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xiv, p. 15, 1888 ; 

Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 52, 1891, 

Habitat. — Ctili, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego. 

? , Rio McClelland Settlement, 28tli Nov. ; (^, 8th Dec, 1904. 
Iris — red ; bill and legs — black. 

The measurements recorded by Dr. Sclater for the Grey 
Tyrant are : — 

Length 7'2, wing 4-0, tail 3'2 inches, 
for both sexes, which are generally in agreement with the series 
of twenty-five in the British Museum, including the " Challenger" 
specimen from the Strait of Magellan, and Lord Byron's and 
Berkeley James's specimens from Chili. 

The Tierra del Fuego birds, however, are considerably larger, 
for they measure : — 

S length 8'5, wing 4*8, tail 3*9 inches. 
? length 7-7, wing 4*2, tail, 3-4 „ 

The male has the two outer primaries very finely acuminated 
for over 0*5 inch. 

This bird is fairly common on the outskirts of forest to 
the south of Useless Bay, and seems particularly partial to 
barberry thorn thickets. It has a musical note, and is very 
tame. Invariably I have found it in pairs. In appearance, 
fliofht, and habit, it reminded me much of the Black-and- 
White Shrike of Central Africa. What Darwin observes, of its 
" generally taking its station on the branch of a tree, on the 
outskirts of the forest," and " when thus perched, usually at some 
height above the ground, sharply looks out for insects passing by, 
which it takes on the wing," exactly describes its habit. 

The stomachs of my specimens contained coleoptera — 
chiefly Rhyncophora. 



10 



64 BIRDS OF TIEREA DEL FUEGO 



MUSCISAXICOLA MACLOVIANA (Garnot) 

Sylvia maclOViana, Lesson et Gamot, Voy. " Goquille," Zool., i, 

p. 540, 1826. 
MuSCisaxicola mentaliS, D'OrUgmj, Voy. Amer. Merid., Ois., p. 355, 

pi. xli, 1835. 
MuSCisaxiCOla niaclOViana, Gould and Darwin, Voy. ''Beagle," 

Birds, p. 83, 1841 ; Abbott, Ibis, p. 154, 1861 ; Sclater, Gat. Birds Brit. 

Mus., xiv. p. 56, 1888 ; Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., i. p. 133, 

1888 ; Oustalet, Miss. 8ci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 55, 1891. 

Habitat. — Pern and Bolivia, to Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 

<^, San Sebastian Settlement, 22nd Sept. ; ? , 27th Oct., 1904. 
Iris — brown ; bill and legs — black. 

Formerly, two species were admitted in this bird — 2L men- 
talis., of the mainland, and M. macloviana^ of the Falkland 
Islands, the specific difference being based on the larger and 
paler form of the latter. 

My Tierra del Fuego birds agree with the mainland form. 

Dr. Sclater establishes the sexual difference, that in the 
male the chinspot is more marked than in the female. In this 
pair there is no such diflference ; the male, however, is a little 
larger. 

This Bird was obtained by Darwin in Northern Patagonia, 
Tierra del Fuego (locality unrecorded). East Falkland Island, 
Chiloe, and Central and Northern Chili ; and by the French 
Mission to Cape Horn as far south as Staten Island and Hardy 
Island in the region of False Cape Horn. 

Bare mountain tops are one of its fiivourite haunts. It 
also frequents the hummocky flats bordering the sea shore. 
It is the one living creature I remarked on the bald, wind- 
swept summit of Nose Peak, 2,225 feet, after eight hours' 
severe going through well-nigh impassable forest working by 
compass bearing. My first specimen was shot at 1,000 feet 
on the Sierra Carmen Sylva, amidst patches of snow gradually 



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CENTRITES NIGER 65 

thawing in spring ; the second, at about 500 feet, a month 
later. In spring and summer I found it very numerous 
on the flats between Useless Bay Settlement and the sea shore. 
It was then tame, whereas on the mountains it was so wild 
as to be almost unapproachable with a collector's gun. It is 
remarkable for the habit of perching on hummocks, and flying 
on ahead of one innumerable times. On perching, it flutters 
its wings. It runs along the ground in short sharp rushes,, 
carrying its head high in the air, very much after the manner 
of the Wheatear (Saxicola oenanthe). 

Darwin says : — " It frequents open places, so that in wooded 
countries it lives entirely on the sea beaches, or near the summits 
of mountains where trees do not grow. In the excessively sterile 
upper valleys of the Cordillera of Northern Chili I met with this 
bird, even at a height of little less than 10,000 ft., where the last 
traces of vegetation occur, and where no other bird lives. It 
generally moves about in very small flocks, and frequents rocky 
streams and marshy ground ; it hops and flies from stone to stone, 
very much after the manner of our Whin chat {Motacilla ruhetrd) ; 
but when alighting it frequently expands its tail like a fan." 

In the Falkland Islands, Abbott found it not very com- 
mon and generally near the shore. He says : — " It is very 
much like a "Wheatear {Saxicola) in its habits. During the 
breeding season it resorts to the stone-runs, or watercourses, 
where it breeds." 



CENTRITES NIGER (Boddaert) 
Alouette noire de la Encenada, Buffon, Hist. Nat. Ois., v, pi. 

dccxxxviii, 1778. 
Alauda nigra, Boddaert, Table, Blanches Enluminees, Hist. Nat. d'Au- 

henton, p. 46, 1783. 
Alondra de la espalda rOXa, Asara, Bdxaros, Baraguay y La Blata, 

ii, p. 15, 1805. 
Anthus fulvUS, D'Orhigny, Voy. Amer. Merid., Ois., p. 223, 1835. 

10 * 



Q6 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

AnthUS VariegatUS, Eydoiox et Gervais, Zool. Voy. "■ Favorite,^^ v, Ois., 

p. 38, pi. XV, 1839. 
MuSCisaxicola nigra, Gould and Darwin, Voy. ''Beagle," Birds, 

p. 84, 1841. 
CentriteS niger, Dumford, IMs p. 395, 1878 ; Sclater, Gat. Birds 

Brit. Mus., xiv, p. 61, 1888 ; Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., i, p. 134, 

1888; Oustalet, Miss. 8ci. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 57, 1891. 

Habitat — Chili and Bolivia, to Tierra del Fuego. 

(^ , San Sebastian Settlement, 22nd Sept. ; ? , 2nd Oct. ; ? , 4tli Oct. ; 
Eggs, Rio McClelland Settlement, 14tli Dec. ; 21st Dec. ; Cheena Creek Set- 
tlement, Dec, 1904. 

Iris — dark brown ; bill and legs — black. 



The Chestnut-backed Tyrant is a summer visitor, arriving at 
the end of September, and breeding in the island. The males 
appear in advance of the females : they are also the first to leave. 
The first specimen I observed was a male at San Sebastian, 
September 22nd, on which day, and subsequent days, I saw 
several more, but never a female until October 1st, then a 
single example. Later, females became as numerous as males. 
At the end of summer — in January and February — at Rio 
McClelland, numbers of females were to be seen, but rarely 
a male. 

To account for this has puzzled me. 

Durnford's experience in Central Patagonia seems to have 
been somewhat similar, as he says: — " Males of this species were 
common throughout September and during the first few days of 
October. On the 5th of the latter month I observed the first 
females, which gradually increased in numbers." 

This little bird is extremely common in open country, whether 
on the flats or m the hills at moderate altitudes. I have seen it 
in the Sierra Carmen Sylva up to 1,000 feet. In warm weather 
it frequents the sea shore, even down to low water mark to feed 
on the insects swarming in myriads over the sea- weed. Whether 
in settlements or in uninhabited tracts it is a familiar object 



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GENTB.ITES NIGER 



CENTRITES NIGER 67 

in one's daily life. It plainly manifests attachment for man. 
Walking or riding, it is usually in attendance, flitting from 
grass tuft to grass tuft, snapping at insects, and flying on by 
short stretches to keep pace. Occasionally I have observed it 
pecking at scraps of meat in the neighbourhood of houses. 

The life habits are thus described by Azara : — " Vuela 
con ligereza, es pronta en sus movimientos, corre con celeridad, y 
la he visto coger moscas en el suelo y en el ayre dando vuelitos 
como de una vara. Alguna vez se posa en las varillas, y casi 
siempre en el suelo ; prefiriendo lo limpio, como son caminos, 
corrales, patios grandes y orillas de lagunas. Lo he visto 
solo, a pares, y en bandadas de hasta 30." 

D'Orbigny says : — " Elle pref^re soit les sentiers battus, 
soit les ornieres, oil tantot elle court avec Vitesse, tantot marche 
gravement, sans jamais s'inqui^ter des personnes qui s'approchent 
d'elle." 

Darwin says : — " It is everywhere common ; it is a quiet, 
tame, inoft'ensive little bird ; it lives on the ground, and frequents 
sand dunes, beaches, and rocky coasts which it seldom leaves ; 
the broad shingly beds of the rivers in Chili have, however, 
tempted it inland, together with Opetiorhyncus.^^ 

Previous accounts of its breeding habits, and descriptions 
of the egg, are at variance. 

According to Darwin, " it builds in low bushes." Oustalet 
describes the nest obtained by Sauvinet as "place sur le sol, 
entre des chaumes, et ses parois, assez epaisses et faites de lichens 
et de racines entrelaces, etaient tapiss^es interieurement avec 
des plumes parmi lesquelles j'ai reconnu facilement des plumes 
de Bernaches." 

All the nests I have seen have been sunk in depressions 
in the ground, in one case under a bush in addition. 
I obtained three nests containing respectively four, three, and 
four eggs. A fourth nest, containing young and one addled 
Qgg^ was not preserved. The nests I have vary somewhat in 
material, also in massiveness of structure : the first is entirely 



68 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

of fine grasses ; the second of massive stalks of a composite 
plant {Perezia recurvafa) lined with hairs and feathers ; the 
third resembles the first, but contains many more feathers — 
those of Chloepliaga ruhidiceps — so loosely put in as hardly to 
possess any cohesion. 

In the Catalogue of Birds' Eggs in the British Museum, 
the eggs are said to be of " blunt oval shape, and slightly 
glossy. They are greyish white, densely freckled with greyish 
brown and lavender. They measure from "76 to '83 in. in 
length, and "6 in. in breadth." The series from which this 
description is taken, consists of two sets, ot three each, from 
the Berkeley James' collection from Central Chili ; and these, 
I think, there can be no doubt are the eggs of Anthus correndera. 

The eggs of Centrites are smaller, and very differently 
coloured. They are of blunt oval shape, of clear white colour, 
spotted very sparsely over the entire surface with dark rusty 
red, the spots generally inclining to form a ring at the larger 
end. They measure from 0-7 to 0*75 inch in length, and from 
0*55 to 0*6 inch in breadth. The eggs of each nest show remark- 
able uniformity in size. In the case of the first, all four measure 
0*75 by 0"55 inch; in that of the second, all three ' measure 
0'75 by 0'6 inch ; in that of the third, three measure 0-75 by 0*6, 
0*75 by 0'55, and 0*7 by 0'55 inch — the fourth having unfor- 
tunately been blown from my hand by the wind and broken. 



AN^B-ETES PARULUS (Kittlitz) 

MuSCicapa parulllS, KittUtz, Mem. VAcad. Imp. des Sci. St. Petersh., 

p. 190, pi. ix, 1831. 
CuliciVOra parulllS, B'Orhigny, Voy. Amer. Merid., Ois., p. 332, 

1835. 
Serpopliaga parula, Gould and Darwin, Voy. '^Beagle,'' Birds, p. 49, 

1841. 
AnaereteS parulus, Dumford, Ibis, p. 34, 1877, p. 395, 1878 ; Sclater, 

Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xiv, p. 106, 1888 ; Sclater and Hudson, Argentine 

Orn., i, p. 141, 1888. 



4 




West, Newman imp. 



AN^IRETES PARULUS 



AN^RETES PARULUS 69 

Habitat. — Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, to Tierra del Fuego. 

(?, Rio McClelland Settlement, 28tli Nov.; ?, 24fch Dec, 1904; ^, 

4tli Jan., 1905. 
Iris — silver grey ; bill and legs — dark grey. 

Wide as is the range of the little Tit Tyrant, it is remarkably 
uniform in plumage : forty examples in the British Museum 
covering its entire area do not appreciably differ from one another. 

However small and retiring by nature, it has a unique 
personality amongst the birds of the island, and it resembles 
nothing else. 

It is not common. I saw only about eight all told, and 
never more than a pair together. It is essentially an inhabitant 
of the forest, especially thorn scrub on the outskirts. Its habits 
in feeding are quite those of the Long-tailed Tit (Acredula). 
It clings closely to the branches, working its way in and out 
in search of insects. The black currant (Bibes magellanicum) 
and the barberry thorn (Berheris huxifoUa) are favourite trees. 
Its note is a shrill chirp. 

D'Orbigny says of it, faithfully to life : — " On la rencontre 
toujours par couples, dans tons les lieux converts de buissons 
epineux et epais, pres des ravins et sur les coteaux, ou elle est 
sedentaire ; elle sautille avec vivacite et gentillesse des basses 
branches aux branches superieures des buissons, en s'y crampon- 
nant, en enclinant son corps dans tons les sens, et paraissant se 
replier comme un serpent pour en parcourir toutes les parties, 
tandis quelle cherche les petits insectes dont elle se nourrit. 
Ses mceurs sont familieres ; elle s'approche des habitations, et se 
derange rarement lorsqu'on passe pres d'elle ; et si elle s'envole, 
c'est d'un vol court, leger et saccade, pour aller se poser tout au 
plus a vingt metres de la, sans jamais s'elever au-dessus du sol. 
Toujours par couples, les deux Culicivores, qui s'^loignent peu, se 
repondent constamment par un petit cri et paraissent on ne pent 
plus unis." 

Darwin says: — "Its specific name is- very well chosen, 



70 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

as I saw no bird in South America whose habits approacli so 
near to those of our Tomtits {Parus). It frequents bushes in 
dry places, actively hopping about them, and sometimes repeating 
a shrill cry ; it often moves in small bodies of three or four 
too;ether." 

Durnford found it rare in Patagonia. He observed two 
pairs amongst thick bushes, and obtained a male and female. 
He took a nest on the 7th November from a thick thorn bush, 
about three feet from the ground, composed of grass, warmly 
lined with feathers, and containing two eggs, white in colour, 
and measuring 0*6 by 0*4 inch. 

The French Mission to Cape Horn do not record it. 



ELAINEA ALBICEPS (D'Orbigny et Lafresnaye) 

MuSCipeta albiceps, WOrUgny, Voy. Amer. Mericl, Oz's., p. 319, 18.S5 ; 

D'Orbigny et Lafresnaye, Mag. de Zool., p. 47, 1837. 
Myiobius albiceps, Gould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle,"" Birds, p. 47, 

1841. 

Elainea griseogularis, Sciater, Fro. Zooi. Soc, pi. cxivi, 1858. 

Elainea albiceps, Dnmford, ibis, p. 60, 1878 ; Sdater, Cat. Birds Brit. 
Mus., xiv, p. 141, 1888 ; Sciater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., i, p. 145, 
1888 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 60, 1891. 

Habitat. — South America, and Tierra del Fuego. 

? , Rio McClelland Settlement, 13th Dec. ; ? , 15th Dec. ; S, 20th Dec, 
1904; 

Iris — brown ; bill and legs— dark drab. 

The White -Crested Tyrant is an exceedingly variable species 
with a wide range, which, according to Dr. Sciater, includes all 
South America except Colombia. 

On comparison with Peru examples, on which Sclater's 
description is based, I find the Tierra del Fuego birds uniformly 
olivaceous brown above rather than "dark ashy brown"; whereas 




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they are in exact agreement with examples from Brazil^ Uruguay, 
and the IsTorthern Argentine. 

This is a remarkable bird, having its haunt in forest depths, 
where its startling whistle at once attracts attention. It took 
me days to secure a specimen and several more to verify its 
call, for it is not easy of access in dark covert, where one must 
approach very nearly to see at all clearly. The first specimen 
I shot was carried down the river, the second was lost in the 
undergrowth, the third had the lower mandible shot away. 
The white crest is conspicuous at a considerable distance if 
lit up by a transient sunbeam penetrating the forest gloom. 
To the White- Crested Tyrant I owe my single specimen of the 
Pigmy Owl, as I have related in my account of that bird. Its 
repeated whistling and excited behaviour when harrassing the 
Owl gave me my first opportunity to observe it closely. It 
feeds on phytophagous larvae, also on coleoptera. The stomachs 
of these three specimens contained in two instances larvee, in the 
third coleoptera as well. 

Darwin says: — "It inhabits the gloomiest recesses of the 
great forests. It generally remains quietly seated high up 
amongst the tallest trees, whence it constantly repeats a very 
plaintive gentle whistle, in an uniform tone. The sound can 
be heard at some distance, yet it is difficult to perceive 
from which quarter it proceeds, and from how far ofi* ; and we 
remained in consequence for some time in doubt from what 
bird it proceeded." 

In the Province of Buenos Ayres Durnford records it a 
spring and summer visitor, and at these seasons pretty common, 
especially in the riverain wood. The nest he describes as " a 
small and very neat structure of lichen or moss lined with hair 
and feathers not unlike our English Chaffinch's nest, and is 
usually placed about ten feet from the ground in the fork of 
a tree." 



11 



72 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 



Family DENDROCOLAPTIDJ^. 

GEOSITTA CUNICULARIA (Vicillot) 

Alondra de la minera, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La Plata, ii, 

p. 13, 1805. 
Alauda CUniCUlaria, Vieilht, Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., i, p. 3')9, isifi. 
Certhilailda CUniCUlaria, B'OrUgny, Voy.Amer. Merid., Ois., p. 358, 

pi. xliii, 1835. 
FurnariUS CUniCUlariUS, Gould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle," Birds, 

p. 65, 1841. 
GeOSitta CUnicularia, Sdater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., i, p. 165, 

1888; Durnford, Ibis, p. 178, 1877, p. 395, 1878; Sdater, Gat. Birds 

Brit. Mus., XV, p. 5, 1890. 

Habitat. — Uruguay, the Argentine Republic, and Chili, to Tierra del 
Fuego. 

^, Sara Settlement, 18th Oct., 1904. 
Iris — brown ; bill and legs — dark drab. 

The Common Miner was almost the only small land bird 
T remarked on the bare grass flats at the head of Useless Bay 
on landing there at the end of winter. 

It is very common in the open country of the lowlands, and 
its name is most happily chosen. 

" Asi la llamo " — Alondra de la minera — says Azara, its 
discoverer, " aludiendo a que excava agujeros en qualesquiera 
barranquitas, y cria dentro sobre colchon de pajitas a la 
profundidad de tres quartas, donde fabrica una oUita para el 
nido. Yive a pares, y corre a pasos ligeramente por las sendas 
y caminos, dexandose acercar mucho. En tiempo de amor se 
persiguen los sexos, dando una especie de chillido agudo como 
ri^ndose. No la he oido otro canto, ni s6 que se eleve. No 
dilata mucho sus vuelos, ni se posa en alto." 

It is disappointing to find no account of it by D'Orbigny, for 
his powers of observation and description could have been well 
employed in describing a bird of such characteristic habits. 

Darwin contributes the folio winfj interesting note : — " This 



GEOSITTA CUNICULARIA 73 

Furnarius constantly haunts the driest and most open districts ; 
and hence sand-dunes near the coast afford it a favourite 
resort. In La Plata, in Northern Patagonia, and in Central Chili, 
it is abundant : in the former country it is called Casarita, a name 
which has evidently been given from its relationship with the 
Casaro, or Furnarius rufus^ for, as we shall see, its nidiiication is 
very different. It is a very tame, most quiet, solitary little bird, 
and hke the English Robin {Sylvia rtcbecola), it is usually most 
active early in the morning and late in the evening. When 
disturbed it flies only to a short distance ; it is fond of dusting 
itself on the roads ; it walks and runs (but not very quickly), 
and generally by starts. I opened the stomachs of some, and 
found in them remains of coleoptera, and chiefly Carahidce. At 
certain seasons it frequently utters a peculiar, shrill but gentle, 
reiterated cry, which is so quickly repeated as to produce one 
running sound. In this respect, and in its manner of walking 
on the ground, and in its food, this species closely resembles the 
Casaro, but in its quiet manners it differs widely from that active 
bird. Its nidification is likewise different, for it builds its nest 
at the bottom of a narrow cylindrical hole, which is said to 
extend horizontally to nearly six feet under ground. Several 
of the country people told me that when boys they had 
attempted to dig out the nest, but had scarcely ever succeeded 
in getting to the end. The bird chooses any low bank of firm 
sandy soil by the side of a road or stream. 

At the settlement of Bahia Blanca the walls are built of 
hardened mud ; and I noticed one, enclosing a courtyard, where 
I lodged, which was penetrated by round holes in a score of 
places. On asking the owner the cause of this, he bitterly 
complained of the little Casarita, several of which I afterwards 
observed at work. It is rather curious, that as these birds were 
constantly flitting backwards and forwards over the low wall, 
they must be quite incapable of judging of distance or thickness 
even after the shortest circuitous route, for otherwise they would 
not have made so many vain attempts." 

11 * 



74 BIRDS OF TIERKA DEL FUEGO 

Durnford says of it, in the Province of Buenos Ayres : — " One 
can scarcely take a ride in the country here without being 
aware, before having gone a great distance, of a small and active 
bird which constantly keeps flitting just in front of your horse, 
every now and then alighting on a clod of earth, but off again 
before you have reached it. It lives on the ground, like our 
familiar little Wheatear, and constantly flits its tail up and down ; 
it also has a habit, like that bird, of sometimes taking short quick 
runs and stopping as suddenly as it started." 

He records it uncommon in the Chupat Valley, and he did 
not observe it on his expedition to the lakes. 



CINCLODES PATAGONICUS (Cxmelin) 

Motacilla patagonica, Gmelin, Systema Naturce, i, p. 957, 1788. 
OpetiorhynchUS rupestris, KittUtz, Mem. I'Acad. St. Petersb., ], 

p. 188, pi. viii, 1831. 
OpetiorhyncllUS patagOniCUS, Gould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle," 

Birds, p. 67, 1841. 
CinclodeS patagOniCUS, Sdater, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xv, p. 22, 

1890. 

Habitat. — Patagonia, Chili, and Tierra del Fuego. 

S Rio McClelland Settlement, 19tli Dec, 1904. 
Iris — brown ; bill and legs — dark brown. 

All previous expeditions appear to have met with this bird, 
with the exception of Durnford and the French Mission to Cape 
Horn. 

It is common on the sea shore where there are clifi*s : it 
also frequents the banks of streams inland. It is possessed 
of much originality of character, and is not likely to be over- 
looked nor confused with any other bird in the island, although 
very closely allied to the larger C. mgrifumosus of Northern 
Chili and Southern Peru and the darker C. antarcticus of the 
Falkland Islands. 



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CINCLODES PATAGONICUS 75 

It breeds in holes in the cliffs. If one invades the domain of 
a pair, they become much perturbed : they descend to the beach, 
run about, droop and flutter their wings, and screech shrilly 
^^ P-i-r-r-r ! " There is no difficulty in locating their nests, but 
these are placed so awkwardly in the face of perpendicular sandy 
cliffs, that the chance of the cliff coming away in getting up to 
them or burying one in digging them out, makes it hardly 
worth the risk of attempting it. They live on small Crustacea — 
a kind of sand hopper (Orchestia chilensis)^ — inhabiting the 
monster masses of sea-weed growing along shore and ever being 
thrown up by the tide. For procuring these, the bill is well 
adapted. These birds possess a peculiarly strong and unpleasant 
odour. 

According to Darwin, the habits are quite similar in all 
these nearly allied shore forms. He says : — " They live almost 
exclusively on the sea beach, whether formed of shingle or rock, 
and feed just above the surf on the matter thrown up by the 
waves. The pebbly beds of large rivers sometimes tempt 
a solitary pair to wander far fi'om the coast. Thus at Santa 
Cruz I saw one at least one hundred miles inland. In 
Tierra del Fuego I scarcely ever saw one twenty yards 
from the beach, and they may frequently be seen walking on 
the buoyant leaves of the Fucus giganteus^\ at some little distance 
from the shore. . . . They are very quiet, tame and solitary, 
but they may not unfrequently be seen in pairs. They hop 
and likewise run quickly ; in which latter respect, and likewise in 
their greater tameness, they differ from the 0. vulgaris. Their cry 
is seldom uttered, but is a quick repetition of a shrill note, like 
that of the last-named bird, and of several species oi Furnarius.^' 

" On the 20th of September, I found, near Valparaiso, a nest 
with young birds in it : it was placed in a small hole in the roof 
of a deep cavern, not far from the bank of a pebbly stream." 

* For this name I am indebted to Dr. W. T. Caiman, who has examined 
specimens taken from the stomach of the bird. — R. C. 
t Now known as Macrocystis pyrifera. — R. C. 



76 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 



CINCLODES FUSCUS (Vieillot) 

AntllUS fuSCTlS, Bonnaterre et Vieillot, Talleau Encychpedique, 

Ornithologie, i, p. 825, 1791. 
Alondra de la parda, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La Plata, ii, p. 11, 

1805. 
UppUCerthia vulgaris, B'OrMgny, Voy. AmSr. Merid., Ois., p. 372, 

pi. Ivii, 1835. 
OpetiorhyncllUS vulgaris, Gould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle,'' Birds, 

p. 6H, 1841. 
CinclodeS fuSCUS, Dumford, This, p. 179, 1877 ; Sclater and Hudson, 

Argentine Orn., i, p. 172, 1888 ; Sdater, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., xv, p. 23, 

1890 ; Oustalet, Miss. 8ci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 63, 1891. 

Habitat. — Ecuador and Peru, to Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 

$ Sara Settlement, IStli Oct., 1904. 
Iris — brown ; bill and legs — dark brown. 

This Tierra del Fuego specimen corresponds with the palest 
form of this bird in its wide range, namely the Peru variety, 
originally described as C. rhmlaris, but since repudiated by Dr. 
Sclater. 

According to that authority, there are no decisive characters 
to separate C. alhidiventris of Ecuador and the north, C. 
rivularis of Peru, and C. minor of Chili, from the typical form 
of the Argentine Republic ( C. fuscus). The Argentine specimens 
are the darkest on the lower surface, C. rivularis much the 
lightest, and the Bolivian examples intermediate. 

This is a very common bird in open country ; even in settle- 
ments, in close proximity to houses. Favourite abiding places 
are the primitive wood and sod bridges in the settled districts 
of the island. Crossing these bridges, many times has my horse 
shied at this bird flying out from below. It is remarkable for 
perching on hillocks, fluttering its wings, and uttering a shrill 
" P-e-?--?*-?'-r " of considerable duration. 

Azara thus describes it: — " Unos corrian con ligereza por la 



CINCLODES FUSCUS 77 

arena y barro de arroyos y lagunas, y otros los caminos como la 
Correndera. Algunas veces lie visto hasta 5 que obraban acordes, 
y se suele posar en lo alto de las matillas. No dudo que come 
insectos, pues se los he visto coger en el barro, y que tambien 
comerd semillas pequenas. Es muy activa, su volar suelto y 
veloz, y se dilata mas que las precedentes; pero no la he oido 
cantar, ni visto que se eleve como las otras." 

Nothing is recorded of the life habits by D'Orbigny except 
that: — "Elle vient souvent au milieu des villages et s'y montre 
partout tres-commune. Jamais elle ne se perche sur les arbres." 

Darwin says : — " In general habits it has several points of 
resemblance with the Furnarius cunicularius^ but differs in some 
other respects. Its flight is somewhat similar, but it shows two 
red bands on its wings, instead of one, by which it can be 
distinguished at a distance : instead of walking, it only hops; it 
feeds entirely on the ground, and in its stomach I found scarcely 
anything but coleopterous insects, and of these many were fungi 
feeders. It often frequents the borders of lakes, where the 
water has thrown up leaves and other refuse. It likewise may 
be met with in all parts of the open grassy plains of Banda 
Oriental, where (like the Uppucertkia at the Rio Negro) it often 
turns over dry dung. Its note is very like that of the F. 
cunicularius^ but more acute, and consists of a shrill cry, quickly 
reiterated so as to make a running sound. I was informed that, 
like that bird, it builds its nest at the bottom of a deep burrow." 
On Flores Island, in La Plata, during nine days' quarantine, 
Durnford had no other land companion than this bird, 
with the exception one morning of a flock of Eudromias. 
He says : — " It feeds on small larvae and insects, and is fond of 
rough ground, where there is little herbage, in the neighbour- 
hood of water. In the winter it generally goes in small parties, 
sometimes in large flocks." 

Common as it is on all sides, I could not obtain a nest. It 
builds in burrows underground, probably some distance in. 
Many times has this bird come out of the earth at my feet, but 



78 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

though I have carefully examined all holes anywhere near the 
spot, I have never been able to trace a nest, except once, when 
I had no means of digging it out. 



OXYURUS SPINICAUDA (Gmelin) 

Motacilla Spinicauda, Gmelin, Systema Naturce, i, p. 978, 1788. 
SynallaxiS tupinieri, Lesson, Voy. " Goquille," Atl., pi. xxix, 1826. 
OxyurUS tupinieri, Gould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle,'' Birds, p. 81, 

1841. 
OxyurUS spinicauda, Sclater, Oat. Birds Brit. Mus., xv, p. 30, 1890 ; 

Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 69, 1891. 

Habitat. — Patagonia, Chili, and Tierra del Fuego. 

<?, Rio McClelland Settlement, 24th I^ov., 1904. 
Iris — brown ; bill — dark drab ; legs — greenish drab. 

This is one of the commonest forest birds ; it is almost as 
plentiful as the Cape Horn Wren, and both make common cause 
in resenting the intrusion of man. No other bird shows itself 
so hostile and aggressive. Go where one will, it comes to one, 
following one persistently within reach of one's person, chirping 
incessantly, and attracting others of its kind — until one is 
accompanied by two or three pairs, exclusive of allies in Wrens 
and Thrushes. It seeks its food on the branches of trees, much 
after the manner of the Golden-crested Wren. Its call is an 
ear-piercing chirp. 

Common as this bird is and so much in evidence, it has come 
in for little mention by expeditions to these regions : indeed, 
Darwin alone seems to have recorded anything of its life habits. 

" It is," he says, " perhaps the most abundant of any land 
species inhabiting Tierra del Fuego. It is common along the 
west coast, and numerous in ChUoe, even as far north as a degree 
south of Valparaiso ; but the dry country and stunted woods 
of Central Chili are not favourable to its increase. In the 



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STPTORNIS ANTHOIDES 79 

dark forests of Tierra del Fuego, both high up and low down, 
in the most gloomy, wet, and scarcely penetrable ravines, 
this little bird may be met with. No doubt, it appears more 
common than it really is, from its habit of following, with 
seeming curiosity, every person who enters these silent woods ; 
continually uttering a harsh twitter, it flutters from tree to tree, 
within a few feet of the intruder's face. It is far from wishing 
for the modest concealment of the Creeper ( Certhia familiaris) ; 
nor does it, like that bird, run up the trunks of trees, but 
industriously, after the manner of a Willow Wren, hops about 
and searches for insects on every twig and branch." 



SIPTORNIS ANTHOIDES (King) 
Synallaxis anthoides, King, Pro. Zool. Soc, p. 30, 1831. 

SynallaxiS rufogUlariS, Gould and Darwin, Voij. " Beagle," Birds, 

p. 77, pi. xxiii, 1841. 
SiptorniS anthoides, Sdater, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., XV, p. 70, 1890. 

Habitat. — Chili, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 

S, Rio McClelland Settlement, 29th Nov., 1904. 
Iris — brown ; bill and legs — drab. 

Few expeditions record this Spine -Tail, and none from the 
island. It was originally obtained by King in the Strait of 
Magellan and described by him, but he does not give his exact 
locality, neither does he say anything of its life history. It is 
again described, and beautifully^ figured, by Gould from Darwin's 
Patagonian example. 

The series of twelve in the British Museum shows much 
variation. 

The most southerly specimens are Darwin's, which differ 
materially from one another. His bird from the Falkland 
Islands is paler and shows no mottling on the breast ; his 
bird from Santa Cruz, Patagonia, agrees more nearly than any 
other with mine from Tierra del Fuego, but above has the 

12 



:i\ 



80 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

feathers dark brown friiifyed with reddish brown, as ao^ainst 

O 7 

black fringed with greyish brown in my bird. 

In two examples from Chili, the fulvous throat is absent. 

This is a rare bird in Tierra del Fuego. I saw only one. This 
I secured in some scattered clumps of brushwood {Chiliotrichum 
ameUoideum)^ on the open downs to the south of Useless Bay. 
In life it puzzled me to make out whether I knew it or not, and 
I observed it closely for about a quarter of an hour. During this 
time it kept moving about restlessly amongst the bushes, chirping 
excitedly, but never allowing me to come very near ; so that, 
believing there must be a nest, I made search for this, but could 
not find it, nor was the mate to be seen. 

Many times was I in the same place, and two months in this 
locality, without remarking another. 

Darwin says : — " These birds are not uncommon on the 
dry rocky mountains near Valparaiso, and in the valleys of 
Southern Patagonia, where a few thickets grow. They hop 
actively about the withered herbage and low thickets, and often 
feed on the ground." 

This specimen's stomach contained minute insects. 



PYGAHRHICUS ALBIGULARIS (King) 
Dendrocolaptes albigularis, B^^'^g', Pro. Zool. Soc, p. 30, 1831. 

DendrodraniTlS leUCOSternUS, Gould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle" 

Birds, p. 82, pi. xxvii, 1841. 
PygarrhicuS albigulariS, Sdater, Cat Birds BHt. Mus., XV, p. 126, 

1890; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Gap Horn, Ols., p. 70, 1891. 

Habitat. — Chili, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego. 

S, Eio McClelland Settlement, 24tli Nov. ; ? , 30th Dec, 1904. 
Iris — dark brown; bill — dark horn colour, lower mandible white; legs 
— dark grej. 

Captam King is the discoverer of the White-throated Wood 
Hewer. Darwin met with it in Chiloe and Southern Chili 



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PYGARRHICUS ALBIGUiARIS 



SCYTALOPUS MAGELLANIC US 81 

to as far north as about a degree south of Valparaiso. It is 
described and figured by Gould as Dendrodra7nus leucosternus, 
apparently in ignorance of the work done by King. 

This was the first forest bird to attract my attention on 
arrival from the open country to the north-eastward. 

No one can be many hours in the forest without remarking 
its tapping on the tree trunks and its clicking " Tick" and 
associating both with this little restless energetic bird. No 
other pursues the tenour of its life so completely engrossed 
in itself as to appear indifferent to all else. It does not seem 
able to be idle a moment. If at work on a tree, it does not 
notice a man thirty feet below observing it closely. It then 
abandons the tree quite on impulse, dashing away recklessly, in 
undulatory flight, " Ticking " on the wing, seemingly at hap- 
hazard as to the direction it takes. On impulse, similarly, in 
the course of its headlong career through the forest, it alights 
on the trunk of another tree, and at once resumes its quest for 
insects. Its habits are very much those of the Nuthatch 
i^Sitta coesia.) 

Darwin found it " common in the forests of Chiloe, where, 
differently from Oxyurus tu^inieri^ it might be seen running up 
the trunks of the lofty forest trees." Its manners appeared 
to him to resemble those of Certhia familiaris. He found 
coleopterous insects in its stomach. 

Coleoptera and coleopterous larvae are its food. 



Family PTEROPTOCHID^. 
SCYTALOPUS MAGELLANICUS (Gmelin) 

Magellanic "Warbler, Lathain, Synopsis Birds, ii, p. 464, 1783. 
Motacilla magellanica, Gmelin, Systema Naturae, i, p. 979, 1788. 
ScytalopUS fuSCUS, Jardine and Selby, Illusfr. Orn., iv, pi. xix, 1838. 
PteroptOChUS albifrons, Landbech, Wiegm. Arch. f. Naturg., p. 273, 
1857. 

12 * 



82 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

ScytalopUS magellanicUS, Gould and Danvin, Voy. ''Beagle" Birds, 
p. 74, 1841 ; Sclater, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., xv, p. 338, 1890 ; Oustalet, 
Miss. Sci. Gap Horn, Ois.,^. 71, 1891 ; Menegaux et Hellmayr, Bull. Mas. 
d'Hist. Nat., p. 378, 1905. 

Habitat. — Chili, and Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 

cJ , Nose Peak Forest, 18tli Jan. ; c? , 19fcli Jan., 1905. 
Iris — brown ; bill — dark brown ; legs — yellowish drab. 

In ignoring the validity of Scytalopus alMfrons^ Dr. Sclater 
says : — " It is quite possible that the birds with the crown edged 
with silver-grey may belong to a different species. It is certainly 
curious that none of the northern birds show any trace of this 
colour, which only occurs in certain specimens from Chili. But 
other Chilian and Patagonian skins are quite undistinguishable 
from the northern bird and show no trace of Avhite on the head." 

After examining the series obtained by the French Mission to 
Cape Horn, Dr. Oustalet came to the conclusion that the white 
crest is nothing more than a character of inadult plumage. 
Mm. Menegaux and Hellmayr, however, have recently again 
examined this series, and they are satisfied that the white-crested 
form is adult : they are also of opinion that it is specifically 
distinct from the all-black form of which the series contains an 
inadult specimen possessing no trace of white on the crown ; 
and they propose to retain S. alhifrons as a synonym of 
S. magellaiiicus, and to reserve for the all-black bird the name 
S. niger after Swainson in 1838. 

The large series in the British Museum is remarkable 
for the greater size of the northern birds, the average length 
of which is from 4*5 to 4' 6 inches. 

My two specimens are adults, and entirely black, with the 
exception of four silver-tipped feathers in the crown of one, 
and one in the crown of the other. They measure : — 

Length 4.0, culmen 0"05, wing 1"95, tarsus 0*7, tail I'lo in. 
„ 4.0, „ 0-05, „ 1-95, „ 0-7, „ 1-2 „ 

The only authority foi* this bird's occurrence in tlie Falkland 



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SCYTAXjOPUS MAGEIjIjANICUS 



SCYTALOPUS MAGELLANICUS 83 

Islands is Darwin, and the account he gives of its habits is 
supported by his immature specimen from there in the British 
Museum. 

" In the Falkland Islands," he says, " instead of inhabiting 
forests, it frequents the coarse herbage and low bushes, which 
in most parts conceal the peaty surface of that island . . . 
In a skulking manner, with its little tail erect, it hops about 
the most entangled parts of the forests of Tierra del Fuego ; 
but when near the outskirts, it every now and then pops out, 
and then quickly back again. It utters many loud and strange 
cries : to obtain a good view of it is not always easy, and 
still less so to make it fly." 

Myself, I have never seen Scytalopus anywhere but in 
forest. During nearly two months in tlie forest country to 
the south of Useless Bay, I saw three examples in all — a pair 
on the first occasion, then a single bird. Try as I would I could 
not shoot a specimen. Later, it proved common in Nose 
Peak forest. Its dark haunts, its minute black form, 
and its lurking restless habits, make it as difhcult to locate 
as it is to shoot with so tiny a weapon as a collector's gun. 
Luckily, it is possessed of curiosity, which impels it sometimes 
to rush out at one's feet, so close that one must withdraw to 
a proper distance before one can shoot. Many times have I been 
followed by the bird, out of curiosity, before I have retreated 
the necessary distance. Its movements are largely on foot : the 
wings are little more than accessories to the legs in negotiating 
short, sharp rushes from one thicket to another along tree-trunks 
lying pi'one or the ground itself. So rapidly does it move, and 
so much along the surface of the ground or of objects thereon, 
that unless one has been previously aware of its existence, one 
would certainly take it for a mouse rather than a bird. 

For so small a creature the voice is remarkably powerful. 
Hardly can it be said to have a song. Its principal call is 
^^ Kum-hak^^ repeated an indefinite number of times, at regular 
intervals. During nearly two months' close observation of the 



84 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

forest birds to the soutli of Useless Bay, I frequently heard it, 
but could never trace it to the bird until my journey to Nose Peak. 
Another of its calls is " Ha-hu : hu-liu^' very startling, usually 
uttered as it emerges from the undergrowth at one's feet. A 
third is "Tz'-^z.- ?/z^m," twice uttered, resembling the song of 
the African Jacana and hardly inferior in power. It has 
also an abrupt note of alarm or protest. It is a remarkable 
bird in every way. Insects are its food. 



HEEODIONES 

Family ARDEIDiE 

NYCTICORAX CYANOCEPHALUS (Molina) 

Ardea Cyanocephala, Molina, Sagglo Storia Naturale, Chili, p. 344, 

1782. 
NyCtiCOraX americannS (nee Bonaparte), Gould and JDarwin, Voy. 

" Beagle," Birds, p. 128, 1841. 
Nycticorax CyanOCeplialUS, Sharpe, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., XX vi, 

p. 156, 1898. 

Habitat. — CHili, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego. 

c^, Rio McClelland Settlement, 2nd Dec, 1904. 

Iris — apricot ; bill — dark grey, yellow points ; legs and feet — yellowish 
drab, yellow points. 

I find it impossible to comprehend this Night Heron in its 
relation to the work of other expeditions, between authorities 
who variously recognize Molina or ignore him and prefer 
Lichtenstein, and authorities who determine two species or one 
over a range which appears to overlap. 

Certainly this bird has come to merit the name " obscurus " 
in another sense than originally contemplated by Lichtenstein ! 

My example is not as dark as the majority of the series in 




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NYCTICOEAX CYANOCEPHALUS 85 

the British Museum. If it is a younger bird, it carries a 
long head pkime — a single white pennant 9 inches long, 
j^ inch broad. Only one male in the British Museum shows 
the head plume, and it has two such feathers rather less than 
6 inches lono'. 

The Night Heron is not plentiful. I have only met with it in 
the forest country to the south of Useless Bay, though I heard of 
one roosting in the woodwork of a bridge over the Rio San 
Martin, in San Sebastian Settlement. It .occurs in colonies of 
from four or five to perhaps a dozen. 

A colony of about seven frequented the Rio McClelland 
Valley. They were extremely retiring: in the day time they 
remained hidden in the forest depths ; at dusk of evening 
they repaired to the seashore, returning inland again before 
broad daylight. 

In Whiteside (Channel, I saw these birds on the rocks at 
noonday. On my approach, riding along the beach, they 
would take wing out to sea, flying low over the water and 
describing a curve, to return to land elsewhere. In their forest 
retreats, they are of stupid habit when intruded on ; they 
crane their necks, make weird noises, shift about uneasily, lose 
foothold, and flop clumsily from tree to tree, conscious of danger, 
5''et incapable of adopting any definite course for self-preservation. 

I shot this specimen in the forest with the *410, No. 7 shot. 



86 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

Family PLATALEIDiE 

THERISTICUS MELANOPIS (Gmelin) 
Le Petit Courly d'Amerique, Bnsson, Om., v, p. 337, 1760. 

Black-faced Ibis, Latham, Synopsis Birds, iii, p. 108, pi. Ixxix, 1785. 
Tantalus melanopis, Gmelin, Systema Naturse, i, p. 658, 1788. 
Mandurria 6 CUruCaU, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La Plata, iii, 

p. 18!), 1805. 
TheristiCUS melanops, OouU and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle,'' Birds, 

p. 128, 1841 ; Cttnrnngham, Ibis, p. 126, 1868. 

TheristiCUS melanopis, Bicrnford, lUs, p. 190, 1877, p. 400, 1878; 

Sharpe, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxvi, p. 21, 1898. 
TheristiCUS CaudatUS (nee Boddaert), Sclater and Hudson, Argentine 
Om., ii, p. 110, 1889 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 140, 1891. 

Habitat. — Central Brazil and Peru, to the region of Cape Horn. 

cJ, Useless Bay Settlement, 13fcb Nov., 1904. 

Iris— dull crimson ; bill and naked skin on head — black ; legs and feet — 
black tinged with crimson. 

There is no difficulty in identifying the Black-faced Ibis. 

So much has been written of its habits that there is hardly 
room to record anything original. 

It is one of the few birds particularly mentioned by Cook, as 
" a species of Curlews nearly as big as a Heron." 

Azara's old-time observations are worth}^ of quotation : — 
" Va comuDmente a pares y en familias, y tambien he visto 
bandadas de cincuenta. Aunque algunas veces se encuentra 
en lugares hiimedos, no interna en los barriales, ni en las aguas, 
y prefiere conocidamente los campos secos, donde come Lombrices, 
Grillos y otros insectos. Se suele acercar a los cadaveres del 
campo, particularmente en tiempos secos ; y no dudo lo liace 
porque la humedad de la corrupcion hara salir las Lombrices^ y 
porque alii acuden multitud de Escarabajos a escarvar debaxo 
para depositar sus huevos. Todas las familias 6 parejas de una 
6 mas leguas en contorno acuden a dormir en los mismos arboles, 
prefiriendo siempre los muy altos, secos y de ramas trouchadas 
que estan en las orillas de los bosques ; de manera que si hay 




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THERISTICUS MELAISTOPSIS 



THEEISTICUS MELANOPIS 87 

escasez de estas circunstancias, se juntan en el proprio arbol 
quantas pueden acomodarse, y por la mafiana cada pareja 6 
familia va a busuar el campo de su destino; porque no se aleja 
de los que empezaron d freqiientar, pudiendo se contar con que 
estan hoy donde ayer sobre poco mas 6 menos. La he visto 
covar sobre un nido hecho de abundancia le palitos, y al parecer 
hondo, colocado en la corona de un tronco tronchado d doce varas 
de altura. En un pequefio corral vi un individuo, y so dueno 
me dixo que se lo habian dado seis meses dntes ya adulto, y 
que le habian criado desde polio en otra casa. Yivia en paz con 
las Gallinas y Patos, aprovechando los desperdicios de la cocina 
sin aspirar d escaparse. Quando se dirige d dormir al ponerse el 
sol, vuela con bastante elevacion; pero por lo comun sus vuelos 
son baxos, rectos, horizontales, algo espaciosos, con el cuello 
tendido, batiendo d compas las alas, y posdndose d la vista." 

Darwin met with it on the desert gravelly plains of 
Patagonia, lat. 48° S., and says:— " It generally lives in pairs, but 
during part of the year in small flocks. Its cry is very 
singular and loud ; when it is heard at a distance it closely 
resembles the neighing of the guanaco. I opened the stomach of 
two specimens, and found in them the remains of lizards, Cicadce, 
and scorpions. It builds in rocky cliffs on the seashore; Q^g 
dirty white, freckled with pale reddish brown ; its circumference 
over longer axis is seven inches." 

Dr. Cunningham describes it as "very shy and wary ; and 
it was long before a specimen was procured." 

In the Province of Buenos Ayres, Durnford found it a 
winter visitor, arriving in May and leaving in October. He did 
not observe it north of the city. He says : — " Its long curved 
beak suggests an affinity to the Curlew ; but I have never seen it 
except on comparatively dry ground, and its habits are quite 
different from theirs. It is usually found in small parties, whose 
harsh cries can be heard at a great distance. Its flight is easy 
and powerful, and generally performed at a considerable height 
in the air. It feeds on grubs and large worms." 

13 



88 BIRDS OF TIEREA DEL FUEGO 

In Central Patagonia he says of it : — "A few seen on the 10 th 
November at the mouth of the Sengel, and subsequently observed 
in the Chupat valley. I believe a few pairs were breeding on 
some swampy ground in the latter place, as I was informed that 
some large pale bluish eggs had been found in the swamp where 
I had seen the birds. T was unable, however, to trace them." 

This Ibis is a summer visitor in Tierra del Fuego, arriving on 
the first break-up of winter. The first I saw were a pair, flying 
high and noisily, at the head of Useless Bay, on August 2Sth, the 
day on which I shot my first guanaco. There is no more remark- 
able personality amongst the birds of the island. Long before one 
sees them, or without one's seeing them at all, their far-reaching 
cry is audible. Later one may, or may not sight them, a pair 
or more dark forms beating their way in the wind, now over the 
flat, now topping a ridge, now diving into a valley, zig-zagging 
hither and thither, yet ever persistently making for their objective. 

Azara describes the cry as " Criicdu 6 curucdu^^ and " Totac^ 
Darwin compares it to the neighing of the guanaco. Cunning- 
ham renders it " Qua-qua^ qua-qua.^^ 

All are good interpretations. The cry assimilates many 
sounds, according to distance and how it is borne to the 
ear — up, down, or across the wind. Many times have I taken 
it for the neigh of a guanaco, and vice versa. It appeared to me 
most to resemble the " Tink-tinh " of a blacksmith's anvil — bell- 
like and musical in the distance ; deeper, harsher, and more intense 
in its interruptions at close quarters. " Ibis avis rohusta " is well 
said. It is a "robust" bird — muscular, broad and deep chested, 
tough of skin, requiring an extraordinary amount of killing, but 
withal excellent eating. It is exceedingly wary and difficult of 
approach. However, on the wing, it gives plenty of warning ; so 
that, if one knows its line, it is possible to conceal oneself and 
obtain a shot. Like the African Hagedashia hagedash, it is 
remarkable for regularity of habit — in time of flight from 
roosting place to feeding grounds in the morning and back in the 
evening. Never once did I discover a roosting place, though 



PHCENICOPTERUS IGNIPALLIATUS 89 

I have seen many in the case of H. hagedash. I do not think 
it roosts in trees in Tierra del Fuego, otherwise I should have 
seen this to the south of Useless Bay ; but probably in the sea 
cliffs, or in precipitous places in the mountains inland. 

This specimen was shot by Mr. H. Dixon, who kindly gave 
it to me for preservation. The stomach contained large larvae. 

The Ona name is " Koritchety 



Family PHCENICOPTERIDJE 

PHCENICOPTERUS IGNIPALLIATUS 

(D. D'Orbigny et I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire) 

Plamant d'Amerique, Buffon, Hist. Nat. Ois., ix, p. 322, pi. Ixiii, 1774. 

Flamenco, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La Plata, iii, p. 133, 1805. 

PhoeniCOpterUS ignipalliatns, D. B'Orligny et I. Geoffroy Saint- 
Hilaire, Ann. Sci. Nat., xvii, p. 454, 1829 ; Cunningham, Nat. Hist. Strait 
of Magellan, p. 210, 1871 ; Durnford, Ibis, p. 400, 1878 ; Sclater and 
Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 117, 1889. 

PhcenicopterUS Chilensis, Salvadori, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxvii, 
p. 16, 1895. 

Habitat. — Peru, Chili, and the Argentine Republic, to Tierra del Fuego. 

The most southerly point this Flamingo has been recorded 
hitherto seems to be Gregory Bay, on the Patagonian mainland. 
Here the "Nassau" Survey shot three — and Cunningham 
mentions it was the only occasion it was met with in this region. 

The only time I saw Flamingos was at a small lagoon near 
Canadon Grande, when crossing the island on November 30th. 
There were ten, one of which was in greyish white plumage. 
Not knowing how wild they are, I attempted to get at them 
with the gun, and they flew before I was within much less than 
150 yards ; a careful shot with the rifle, with any luck, would 
have been successful. The lagoon where they were had bare 
margins and looked brackish ; the only other bird there was 
the Antarctic Duck in large numbers. 

13 * 



90 BIRDS OF TIEREA DEL FUEGO 

At Gente Grande lagoons, they are very plentiful. 

At the great lakes m the interior of the Pampas, Azara states 
he saw "algunas bandadas de muchos centenares; y aunque 
ninguna vez quise acercarme a tirarles, los encontre muy ariscos." 

Darwin observed Flamingos throughout Patagonia, in 
Northern Chili, and at the Galapagos Islands, wherever there 
were lakes of brine. Considerable numbers inhabit a salt lake 
near the Rio Negro and breed there. He says : — " I saw them 
wading about in search of food — probably for the worms which 
burrow in the mud ; and these latter probably feed on infusoria 
or confervas. Thus we have a little living world within itself, 
adapted to these island lakes of brine." 

About Lake Colguape and the R. Sengel, Durnford found 
them common, partially resident, and occurring in greatest 
numbers in winter. 



ANSERES 

Family ANATID^ 

CYGNU3 NIGRICOLLIS (Gmelin) 

Anas nigriCOUiS, Gmelin, Systema NaturcB, i, p. 502, 1788. 

Cisne de Cabeza negra, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La Plata, iii, 
p. 4u4, 1805. 

CygnUS nigriCOUis, Cassin, U. 8. Astron. Exp. ii, p. 200, 1855 ; 
Abbott, Ibis, p. 159, 1861; Cunningliam, Nat. Hist. Strait of Magellan, 
p. 266, 1871; Durnford, Ihis, p. 191, 1877, p. 400, 1878; Sclater and 
Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 124, pi. xviii, 1889 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. 
Cap Horn, Ois., p. 185, 1891. 

CygnUS melanCOrypllllS, Salvadori, Gat. Birds Brit. Mzcs., xxyii, 
p. 39, 1895. 

Habitat.— Southern Brazil and Paraguay, to Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland 
Islands. 




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CYGNUS NIGRICOLLIS 91 

? , Useless Bay Settlement, 9tli 'Nov., 1904. 
Iris — brown ; bill — mauve ; legs — pale pink. 

It is remarkable that Darwin makes so little mention of the 
Black-necked Swan ; his only allusion to it seems to be the one 
pair seen near Cape Tres Montes on the coast of Chili. 

The French Mission to Cape Horn did not obtain it south 
of the Patagonian mainland. 

There are vast numbers in the Gente Grande lagoons on the 
north coast. Further south I did not find them plentiful, except 
in isolated flocks. They have a preference for lagoons where 
the water is brackish. The only place I have seen any 
considerable number was on a lagoon on the track between 
Useless Bay Settlement and Cheena Creek. There I shot this 
specimen with the rifle. There were about 150 on the lagoon ; 
a fortnight later, about double that number. On visiting this 
lagoon again in February, I found none of this species, but 
a single pair of Coscoroba Swans. Occasionally I saw small 
companies on the wing. 

In the Falkland Islands, Abbott says they are found all the 
year round, but rather scarce and very wild. 

In the Province of Buenos Ay res, Durnford says, they are 
winter visitors, but the time of their arrival and departure is very 
uncertain, depending chiefly on the mildness or severity of the 
season. In Central Patagonia they are partially resident, but 
most numerous in the winter. He observed them nesting in 
the reed-beds at the mouth of the Sengelen, and the old birds 
were carrying the young on their backs. 

There was nothing in the stomach of this specimen beyond 
sand. 

The Ona name is " Kaum" in imitation of its note. 



92 BIRDS OF TIEREA DEL FUEGO 



COSCOROBA CANDIDA (Vieillot) 

GanSO bianco, Azara, Pdxaros, Varaguay y La Plata, iii, p. 406, 1805. 
Anser CandiduS, Vieillot, Nouv. Bid. d'Hist. Nat., xxiii, p. 331, 1816. 
CygnuS COSCOroba, Abbott, Ibis, p. 159, 1861 ; Durnford, Ibis, p. 41, 

1877, p. 400, 1878. 
COSCOroba Candida, Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 126, 

1889 ; Salvadori, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxvii, p. 42, 1895. 

Habitat. — Paraguay, the Argentine Republic, and Chili, to Tierra del 
Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. * 

^, Gente Grande Lagoons, 24th Feb., 1905. 
Iris and bill — dark lilac ; legs — lilac. 

During my travels in Tierra del Fuego I saw very few 
Coscoroba Swans, and these only on the same lagoon as that 
frequented by the Black-necked Swan. 

Mr. Ernest Hobbs informs me they are in thousands 
in the neighbourhood of Gente Grande where he resides. 
Hearing I had not secured a Yfhite Swan, he most kindly shot 
this bird and brought it to me in Punta Arenas, in time to 
enable me to skin it before putting to sea in the " Asuncion 
de Larrinaga " on my way home. 

There is no record of this Swan by Darwin or the French 
Mission to Cape Horn. 

In the Falkland Islands it appears to be very scarce, as 
Abbott states Mare Harbour is the only part where he ever saw 
or heard of it, and that here a flock of eight or ten was 
generally to be found. 

In the Chupat Valley, Patagonia, Durnford met with 
considerable numbers, but not so numerous as C. nigricoUis. 
On his last visit, and on his journey to the lakes, he did not 
observe it at all. 

This specimen weighed 11 pounds 13 ounces. There was 
nothing in the stomach except a very little sand. 



CHLOEPHAGA ANTARCTICA 93 



CHLOEPHAGA ANTARCTICA (Gmelin) 

Anas antarctica, Gmelin, Sijstema Naturce, i, p. 505, 1788. 
Bernicla antarctica, Gould and Darwin, Voy. "-Beagle," Birds, 

p. 134, 1841 ; Gassin, TJ. S. Astron. Exp., ii, p. 200, pi. xxiii, ^ ? , 1855 ; 

Abbott, Ibis, p. 159, 1861 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Gap. Horn, Ois., p. 195, 

1891. 
Chloephaga antarctica, Gunningham, Nat. Hist. Strait Magellan, 

pp. 305, 319, 1871. 
Chloephaga hybrida, Sahadori, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxvii, p. 130, 

1895. 

Habitat. — Patagonia, Chili and Chiloe Island, to Cape Horn ; the Falkland 
Islands. 

The Kelp Goose, apparently common in the Falkland 
Islands and on the south coast of Tierra del Fuego, proved rare 
m parts visited by me. I did not obtain a specimen. I saw 
one pair, on two occasions, on a spit of shingle on the rock-bound 
coast in Whiteside Channel : they rose with a gaggle, and flew 
low over the water. The snow-white male is very handsome. 
Its striking appearance, and the peculiar and solitary habit it 
has of frequenting the sea shore, distinguishes this Groose from 
all others. 

"It lives exclusively on the rocky parts of the sea coast," 
says Darwin. " In the deep and retired channels of Tierra del 
Fuego, the snow-white male, invariably accompanied by his 
darker consort and standing close by each other on some distant 
rocky point, is a common feature in the landscape." 

The " Erebus " and ^' Terror " obtained it at Cape Horn. 

In the Falkland Islands, Abbott found it a very common 
bird along the coast. 

On the " Nassau " Survey, Cunningham mentions one example 
only was met with in the eastern portion of the Strait of 
Magellan, but that more to the westward it is common. He 
says : — " It never goes in large flocks, rarely more than five 
or six being to be seen in company at a time, and generally 



94 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

but a solitary pair to be observed on one spot. As a rule, tliey 
were exceedingly wary. The flesh is quite uneatable at most 
seasons of the year, owing to the nature of their food, which 
consists of molluscs and other marine animals." 

Some eggs shown me by Mr. Betts, of Useless Bay Settle- 
ment, were smaller than the eggs of the Steamer Duck. 



CHLOEPHAGA MAGELLANICA (Gmelin) 
White-winged Antarctic Goose, Brown, illustrations Zooi, p. lOO, 

pl. x], S, 1776. 

Oie des Torres Magellaniques, -Bm/o^i, mst. Nat. Ois., ix, pi. mvi, 

? , 1784. 
Anas magellanica, Gmelin, Systema Naturce, i, p. 505, 1788. 
Chloephaga magSllanica, Goiold and Darwin, Voy. "■Beagle," 

Birds, p. 134, 1841 ; Abbott, Ibis, p. 157, 1861 ; Cunningham, Nat. Hist. 

Strait Magellan, p. 130, 1871; Salvadori, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxvii, 

p. 132, 1895. 
Bernicla magellanica, Dumford, ibis, p. 400, 1878 ; Oustalet, Miss. 

Sci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 187, 1891. 

Habitat. — Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 

The general appearance of C. Magellanica and G. dispar is 
so similar that, having only a very limited knowledge of the 
Geese of these regions at the time of observing them, and not 
having an opportunity of handling the former until my return to 
England, I did not note any distinction until I had compared 
both in the British Museum ; but, like the sheepmen of the island, 
believed the lighter-coloured bird to be nothing more than 
a phase of C. dispar. 

I now think that the lighter bird must have been C. magel- 
lanica. 

Darwin says of this species in Tierra del Fuego and the Falk- 
land Islands : — "They live in pairs and in small flocks throughout 
the interior of the island, being rarely or never found on the 
sea coast, and seldom ever near fresh-water lakes. I believe 



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CHLOEPHAGA DISPAE 95 

this bird does not migrate from the Falkland Islands ; it builds 
on the small outlying islets. The latter circumstance is supposed 
to be owing to the fear of the foxes ; and it is perhaps from the 
same cause that, although very tame by day, they are much 
the contrary in the dusk of the evening. These Geese live 
entirely on vegetable matter." 

In the Falkland Islands, however, Abbott subsequently 
observed them breeding all over the country, as well as on the 
adjoining islets, and thinks Darwin made a mistake, unless the 
disappearance of the fox has caused a change in their habits 
in this respect. 

Dr. Cunningham never saw them any considerable distance 
from the sea, and frequently observed them on the banks of 
small lakes of salt and fresh water. 

Personally, I associate the lighter-coloured birds with 
seeing them in small isolated companies on the open grass-flats. 
of the lowlands. 



CHLOEPHAGA DISPAR (Philippi and Landbeck) 

Bernicla magellanica (nee Gmeiin), Cassin, u. S. Astron. Exp., a, 

p. 201, pi. xxiv, 1856. 
Bernicla dispar, PhiUppi and Landbeck, Anales TJniversidad Chile, 

XX, p. 427, 1862 ; lidem, Wiegmann ArcMv Naturgeschichte, i, p. 190, 

1863 ; Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 123, 1889. 
Chloephaga inornata, Salvadori, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxvii, p. 134, 

1895 ; Gates, Cat. Birds' Eggs Brit. Mus., ii, p. 155, 1902. 

Habitat. — THe Argentine Republic and Central Chili, to Tierra del 
Fuego, 

Eggs, Cheena Creek Settlement, llth Nov., 1904; ? , ^, $, Useless Baj 
Settlement, 3rd Feb., 1905. 

Iris and bill — black ; legs and feet, ^ — black, ? — orange. 

However desirous one may be of retaining long-standing names 
for association's sake, more especially in the case of that talented 

14 



96 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

officer of many sympathies, Capt. King, it is impracticable to 
accept his inadult Atias inornatus as the type of this species. 

After carefully examining this bird and comparing it witli all 
nearly-allied forms in the British Museum, I am of opinion that 
it cannot be identified with this species in any normal phase of 
plumage ; if it resembles anything, it is nearest to C. antarctlca^ 
of which it has the light-coloured bill and yellow legs and feet, 
whereas in the male of C. dispar these are black. 

An excellent plate of King's bird, as Bernicla inornata, is 
given in the Birds of the " Erebus " and " Terror " Expedition. 

His female is certainly referable to C. antardica ; it is an 
inadult specimen about the size of the male, and quite conceivably 
is of the same brood. 

The Barred Magellan Goose is resident in Tierra del Fuego 
during the entire year. It is, on the whole, the most numerous 
of all the Geese, for although C. rubidiceps exists in perhaps 
equal numbers in the lowlands, this bird is as commonly met with 
in the hills and even on the plateau. For anyone who has not 
actually seen these Geese, it would be impossible to realize what 
a factor they are in the natural history of the island and its develop- 
ment by man. Go where you will — in and around settlements, 
on the open flats, on the slopes of the mountains, even on the 
mountain tops — there are the Geese always, in countless thousands, 
from single birds or pairs to companies of fifty or a hundred or 
more. All my previous conceptions of wild Geese were dispelled. 
In Africa and North America I had been taught to associate them 
with water and more or less impenetrable marshes ; whereas in 
Tierra del Fuego, I found them frequenting open, dry ground, 
and though often in the neighbourhood of water, rarely in it 
or on it. Never are you out of sight or hearing of Geese, 
grazing, squatting, and ever rising and gaggling, as you go your 
way. I had expected to find them nesting in low ground, in 
reeds and long grass, on the margins of lagoons and streams. 
Until I saw it, I could not conceive that Geese would nest 
where they commonly do in the island — on dr}^, open ground. 



CHLOEPHAGA DISPAR 97 

often within a few yards of tlie track, at the mercy of man and 
beast. In such exposed places, it is extraordinary how they 
escape notice. 

Particularly interesting are the breeding habits of this Goose. 
There is no attempt at a nest until one or two eggs have 
been laid, in some depression on the bare ground. The bird 
then commences to deposit her down, adding more and more as 
she proceeds with the laying. The eggs number usually six, 
occasionally — according to the experience of others — as many as 
eight. As incubation proceeds, so does the conduct of the parent 
vary. If one happens to make straight for her nest, or about 
twenty yards wide of it, before she has her complement of eggs, 
she usually rises thirty or forty yards away. If the full number 
are there, she is not as ready to move, and she becomes less and 
less inclined to do so the longer she sits ; until at last, when the 
eggs are near hatching, she will not stir until almost trodden on. 
I have ridden round a Goose under these conditions within eight 
or ten feet of her, have pulled up and sat looking at her and she 
stonily at me, and she has never stirred until I have dismounted 
to put her off. When it comes to sitting as close as this, they 
flatten out to the utmost, neck, head, and bill to the ground. 
For concealing the eggs and keeping them warm in the absence 
of the bird, there is extraordinary provision in the down of 
the nest, which, with the action of the bird rising from it, is 
drawn upwards until the sides meet and fall over, completely 
covering the eggs. All there is to mark the spot is a pad of 
down, partially masked by grass, sunk below the natural lie of 
the ground. 

It is only within recent years that Geese have attained such 
numbers in Tierra del Fuego. It is due to the covert being 
eaten down by sheep, and consequently the growth of short 
grass. It is also due in some measure to the extinction of the 
Onas, and the decrease in foxes. Against this, on the 
other hand, must be set the sheepmen, Avho collect the eggs for 
winter consumption, and kill many young birds for eating before 

14 * 



98 BIRDS OF TIERRA DP:L FUEGO 

they are able to fly, besides destroying eggs too far incubated to 
be fit for food. 

A common dish of the country at the end of January and 
in the beginning of February, is a " cazuela " of goslings. At 
this time, the parent birds resort to all sorts of manoeuvres to 
draw one off* their young, leaving them scattered and squatting 
motionless, while they themselves do all they can to interest 
one and get one to follow them in the belief that they are 
cripples. 

In spite of all, the Geese increase, and consume much grass 
otherwise required for sheep. 

This bird and C. ruhidiceps commonly associate with one 
another, but this is certainly the more wary. Hardly is its 
colouring gorgeous, yet beautifully anserine, and well in 
accord with the subdued tone of nature in these regions. 
The difference in the plumage of the sexes is so remarkable that 
at first it is difficult to believe them to be the same species, the 
male being generally black and white, and the female black and 
reddish brown. During the winter and early spring these birds 
are exceedingly lean, when G. ruhidiceps — even when newly 
arrived — are excessively fat. This female weighed 5 pounds 
6 ounces ; the males, 6 pounds 15 ounces and 7 pounds 7|- 
ounces — all in lean condition. 

In breeding time, the presence of the light -coloured male 
standing sentry is a conspicuous feature in the landscape. 
At Cheena Creek in the early days of JSTovember, I used to 
collect the eggs in my saddle-bags, and bring them in for 
food. As compared with the series in the British Museum, 
the two eggs I have are distinctly larger : they measure 
3*15 by 2*1 and 3'15 by 2'2 inches, as against the measurements 
recorded by Gates — 2*8 to 2*9 inches for length, and 1"9 to 2-02 
inches for breadth. 



CHLOEPHAGA EUBIDICEPS 99 



CHLOEPHAGA RUBIDICEPS (Sclater) 

Bernicla inornata, Qray (nee King), Zool. Voy. ''Erebus" and 
" Terror," Birds, pi. xxiv (nee Genera Birds ; neque King), 1846. 

Chloepliaga rubidiceps, Sclater, Pro. Zool. Soc, pp. 387, 415, 
pi. clxxii, 1860 ; Abbott, Ibis, p. 158, 1861 ; Oates, Gat. Birds' Eggs Brit. 
Mus., ii, p. 156, 1902; Salvadori, Gat. Birds Brit. Mies., xxvii, p. 136, 1895. 

Habitat — Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands, 

(^ , Useless Bay Settlement, 8th Sept. ; eggs, San Sebastian Settlement, 
28th Oct. 1904. 

Iris — greyish black ; bill — black ; legs and feet — orange. 

Hitherto, the Ruddy -headed Goose has only been recorded 
from the Falkland Islands — with the exception of a specimen 
stated by Oustalet to have been sent to France by D'Orbigny 
from Patagonia in 1831, and with this nothing seems to have 
been done. 

In the Birds of the "Erebus" and "Terror" Expedition it 
is figured as B. inornata, from a male and female obtained in 
the Falkland Islands ; but was only described by Dr. Sclater as 
lately as 1860. 

It was not met with by Darwin, Cunningham, or the French 
Mission to Cape Horn. 

This Goose is a summer visitor, arriving at the end of winter 
and breeding in vast numbers. I first remarked its appearance 
at the head of Useless Bay early in September. Its advent 
is a remarkable event in the year. After seeing none, a pair 
appears mysteriously here and there, and these increase from 
day to day until there are countless thousands. I found these 
birds excessively fat at the time of their arrival, where — as I have 
observed elsewhere — C. dtspar, resident in the island^ is as lean 
as can be, not only at this season but in spring and at the end 
of summer. In the lowlands they are in about equal numbers 
with, or perhaps even more numerous than, G. dispar. 



100 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

The two species associate freely ; but this is the less wary, 
and, indeed, in the neighbourhood of settlements is so tame 
that it can be shot without a stalk. A few years ago, 
the sheepmen tell me, these Geese did not exist in anything 
approaching their present numbers : a yearly increase has been 
remarkable in their immigration which is attributed to the brush- 
wood being eaten away by sheep, and the growth of fine grass. 

In the Falkland Islands, Capt. Abbott observes of this bird 
that it is " not so common as the other varieties {e.rj.^ C. 
magellanica and C. ajitarctica)^ except in some places in the 
North Camp, where I have seen very large numbers, probably 
a hundred, but always in pairs. The usual nesting place is 
among dry bushes, the male bird, while the female is sitting, 
usually being found on the edge of the nearest water (generally 
salt), which, however, is frequently not in sight of the nest. The 
eggs are generally five (sometimes, but rarely, six) in number. 
The time of laying is the first week in October." 

In Tierra del Fuego the nesting season commences perhaps 
a little later. In the warm spring weather the males become 
exceedingly pugnacious and noisy, engaging in combat on land 
or water, while others of their kind are spectators and scream 
encouragement. All day long are they tourneying on the Rio 
San Martin, at San Sebastian Settlement, within sight and 
earshot of the manager's house, until at times the noise becomes 
irritating. 

There I took my first eggs on October 28th, and many more 
elsewhere for food : the usual complement is five, which I do not 
remember having seen exceeded. 

The eggs are of somewhat varying shape — some oval, some 
pointed oval. They are of a brownish cream colour. My two 
examples, taken from my first nest, represent to some extent 
the prevailing variation in shape : they measure, respectively, 
2-75 by 2-0 inches and 28-5 by 1-95 inches. 

This bird, in fat condition, weighed 4 pounds 7 ounces. 

The Ona name is " Shohli." 



CHLOEPHAGA POLIOCEPHALA 101 



CHLOEPHAGA POLIOCEPHALA (Gray) 

Bernicla inornata, Gray and Mitchell (nee King), Genera Birds, iii, p. 

607, pi. clxv, 1844. 
Chloephaga poliOCephala, Gray, List Birds Brit. Mus., iii, p. 

127,1844; Abbott, Ibis, p. 159, 18CI ; Cunningham, Nat. Hist. Strait 

Magellan, p. 184, 1871 ; Salvadori, Gat. Birds Brit. Mas., xxvii, p. 137, 

1895. 
Bernicla poliOCephala, Durnford, ibis, p. 400, 1878 ; Sclafer and 

Hudson, Argentine Dm., ii, p. 124, 1889 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Gap Horn, 

Ois., p. 192, 1891. 

Habitat. — The Argentine Republic, Chili and Chiloe Island, to Tierra del 
Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 

^ , Useless Bay Settlement, 29th Sept., 1904. 

Iris and bill — black ; legs and feet — orange, blotched with black. 

According to Dr. Oustalet, specimens of the Chestnut-breasted 
Goose were sent to France by d'Orbigny from Eastern Patagonia 
in 1831, but it does not transpire what use was made of these. 

This is not a common bird. I do not think I saw a hundred 
altogether, where other Greese could hardly be numbered in 
figures short of millions. It is a migrant, arriving somewhat 
later than the majority of G. ruhidiceps. The first I remarked 
were two pairs inland on the track between Useless Bay and 
San Sebastian, Sept. 20th. At odd times I came across 
a pair or two here and there. It is probably more numerous 
than is actually apparent : it associates with C. ruhtdicejJS and 
is not readily distinguishable from the latter unless the breast 
is exposed to view. It is more wary and cunning than 
either C. dispar or C. ruhidiceps. Long before these become 
anxious, when all are in company, G. poliocephcda has its 
head in the air. I was never able to shoot one. For this 
example I am indebted to Mr. J. G. Cameron, who is the only 
settler I know who killed one during the time I was in the 
island. 



102 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

Is not this, rather than C. dispar^ the " Painted Goose " 
which Commodore Byron mentions afforded the survivors of the 
" Wao'er " means of subsistence in 1740 in the Guaianeco 
Ishmds, as he describes it as " having plumage variegated with 
the most lively colours"? 

Neither Kins^ nor Darwin record this bird. 

Abbott says of it : — " During the three years I have been 
in East Falkland I have never seen but three, and these were 
met witli singly, at different times, amongst flocks of the Upland 
Goose {C. magellanica)^ 

On the Patagonian mainland, Cunningham's experience was 
that it was " common on the eastern portion of the Strait and 
tamer than the Upland Goose." 

In the Province of Buenos Ayres, Durnford says of it : — 
" Common in winter, about fifty miles to the south of the city ; 
and I observed it last year, when we had unusually severe 
weather, within thirty miles of Buenos Ayres ; it rarely, however, 
comes as far north as this." In Central Patagonia, he records 
it a " winter visitor to the Chupat Valley, arri^dng and 
departing with B. ma/jellanica, and always associating with that 
species. It nests about Lake Colguape in the same places as 
B. mageUamcar 



ANAS CRISTATA (Gmelin) 

Crested Duck, LatMvi, Synopsis Birds, iii, p. 543, 1785. 

Anas cristata, Gmelin, Systema Naturce, i, p. 540, 1788; Abbott, Ibis, 

p. 160, 1861 ; Cunningham, Nat. Hist. Strait Magellan, p. 154, 1871 ; 

Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Cap. Horn, Ois., p. 199, 1891 ; Salvadori, Cat. Birds 

Brit. Mus., xxvii, p. 216, 1895. 
Anas SpeCUlaroideS, King, Zool. Joum., iv, p. 98, 1828. 

Habitat. — Central Peru to Cape Horn ; the Falkland Islands. 

(J, Useless Bay Settlement, 12th Sept., 1904. 

Iris — crimson ; bill — dark grey ; legs and feet — grey. 



.^#: 




I 
« 



< 

cn 

I— I 

o 



ANAS CEISTATA 103 

The Antarctic Duck was originally described from Staten 
Island, in the vicinity of Cape Horn. It is not recorded by 
Darwin, or Durnford. 

There are specimens in the British Museum from 14,000 feet 
altitude in Peru. 

This is the only Duck I found in the island at the end 
of winter. It is resident all the year, frequenting the sea coast 
in winter, the inland fresh-water lagoons and streams in summer. 
I have occasionally seen and shot this bird in some of the remote 
lakes in the forest south of Useless Bay. It is somewhat of 
a tyrant with other Ducks. It is more a marine than a fresh- 
water form. The plumage on the whole is unusually sombre, 
but the speculum is indescribably beautiful in its many changing 
colours, in which perhaps burnished copper tinged with mauve 
is the most remarkable. It is possibly more wary than any other 
Duck except M. sihilatrix. If put up, it invariably flies round — 
not overhead like M. sihilatrix and D. spinicauda. The 
quack is curiously harsh, resembling rather the Landrail. It 
possesses extraordinary vitality. 

Capt. King found this the common Duck in the vicinity 
of Port Famine, and in the winter months excellent eating. 

In the Falkland Islands, Abbott says it is very common 
everywhere, and although sometimes seen in fresh-water 
ponds, generally frequents the vicinity of salt water. The old 
birds are always found in pairs in the same spot ; they live upon 
shell-fish, and have certain boundaries of w^ater along the coast, 
upon which they will not allow others of their species to 
encroach. They breed inland among the grass, and on the edges 
of ponds, laying five eggs in a beautifully made nest covered with 
down. The time of laying is the beginning of October, and 
frequently a month later. 

On the " Nassau" Survey, Cunningham met with this Duck 
in the Strait of Magellan almost everywhere in greater or less 
numbers, generally swimming among the broad belts of kelp at 
some distance from the shore. 

15 



104 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

111 lean condition, this specimen weighed 2 pounds 6 ounces ; 
the stomach contained about 3 ounces of strong-smelling fresh- 
water larvae. 



MARECA SIBILATRIX (Poeppig) 

Pato del piCO pequefiO, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La Plata, iii, 

p. 434, 1806. 
Anas Sibilatrix, Poeppig, in Frorieps Notizen, xxv, No. 529, p. 10, 

1829. 
Mareca Chiloensis, TSyton, Monograph AnatidoB, p. 117, pi. xxi, 1838 ; 

Ahhott, Ibis, p. 160, 1861. 
Mareca sibilatrix, Durnford, ibis, pp. 41, 192, 1877, p. 401, 1878 ; 

Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 135, 1889 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. 

Cap Horn, Ois., p. 210, 1891 ; Salvadori, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus. xxvii, 

p. 236, 1896. 

Habitat. — Paraguay, the Argentine Republic, Chili and Chiloe Island, to 
Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 

$ , San Sebastian Settlement, 28th Oct. ; ^ , Useless Bay Settlement, 
3rd Nov., 1904. 

Iris— brown ; bill — dark silver grey ; legs — silver grey. 

All expeditions appear to record the beautiful Chiloe Widgeon 
with the exception of Darwin. 

The French Mission to Cape Horn met with it no further 
south than Rio Gallegos, in Patagonia. 

It is a summer visitor, arriving the last of its family. The 
first examples seen by me were a company of five at San 
Sebastian Settlement, Oct. 22nd, from which date I observed a 
daily increase in its numbers. By the beginning of November 
these birds were plentiful on the lagoons at the head of Useless 
Bay. They breed in the island to some extent to my certain 
knowledge ; but, whether generally or even freely, I am not 
prepared to say. 

The Widgeon is the most sporting and handsome of the 



MARECA SIBILATRIX 105 

wildfowl of Tierra del Fuego. It is the wildest of all Duck in the 
island ; but, in time, like other creatures, loses its natural distrust 
of man, if unmolested ; and then becomes an interesting pet at 
large. There is at Useless Bay Settlement, below the manager's 
house, within about one hundred yards of it, a pool of water on 
the outskirts of the marsh, reserved as a sanctuary for birds. 
Here, there were always a few Widgeon — sometimes twenty or 
thirty — and it was possible to watch them at play. They would 
hold merry tourney on the water, chasing and ducking one 
another, gaggling excitedly, all joining in excited approbation or 
derision from time to time. One bird would then take wing, 
followed by all the others, for a turn in the air, and then they 
would career round in reckless dashing flight — wheeling, twisting, 
doubling, stooping, and rising — to return to the water with 
a sounding splash. When put up, this Widgeon usually makes a 
detour and comes back overhead, sometimes again and again, often 
so high as to be quite out of gunshot. I killed this female in this 
way, at a great height, with a single pellet of No. 4 shot, in sheer 
desperation, after the company of four or five had come overhead 
several times. For the male, I have to thank Mr. J. G. Cameron, 
who shot it when we were out together, and himself skinned 
it in most creditable style. Several times I have seen a pair 
of these birds with young, unable to fly, but never found 
a nest. 

Capt. Abbott describes this Widgeon as one of the wildest 
and scarcest birds in the Falkland Islands. 

In the Province of Buenos Ayres, Durnford says : — " The 
greater part that come here are winter visitors, but a few breed 
amongst the reeds and coarse grass in some of the extensive 
marshes. Like Metopiana peposaca, it prefers large lagoons to 
the small pools and streams frequented by the smaller ducks, and 
is generally shy and flies very high." In the Chupat Valley he 
records it " common throughout the valley and at the mouth of 
the river, at the latter place feeding on the extensive mussel-beds 
in company with A. spinicauda.'' In Central Patagonia — " The 

15 * 



106 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

commonest Duck met with during our journey, and nesting 
abundantly at the mouth of the Sengelen." 

The stomach of the female contained digested grass and 
sand: the bird itself weighed 1 pound 12 ounces. 



DAFILA SPINICAUDA (Vieillot) 

PatO del cola aguda, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La Plata, iii, 

p. 421, 1805. 
Anas spinicauda, Vieillot, Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., V, p. 135, 1816. 
Dafila urophasianus, Gould and Darwin, Voy. "Beagle," Birds, 

p. 135, 1841 ; Abbott, Ibis, p. 160, 1861. 
Dafila spinicauda, Bumford, Ibis, pp. 41, 192, 1877; Hclater and 

Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 134, 1889 ; Oustalet, Mis. Sci. Gap Horn, 

Ois., p. 209, 1891 J Salvadori, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxvii, p. 279, 1895 ; 

Oates, Gat. Birds' Eggs Brit. Mus., ii, p. 173, 1902. 

Habitat. — Southern Brazil and Southern Peru, to Tierra del Fuego ; 
the Falkland Islands. 

1^, Useless Bay Settlement, 16th Sept.; eggs, Sara Settlement, 19th Oct., 
1904. 

Iris — black; bill — bright yellow, centre black; legs and feet — grey. 

The Brown Pintail is perhaps the commonest Duck in the 
island, and is the first migrant of its kind to arrive on the break 
up of winter. These birds give good sport, and are a welcome 
addition to the daily fare. They come back overhead again and 
again, even when shot at, giving sporting shots ; higher and 
higher they come, until the tallest shot cannot pull them down. 

In the Falkland Islands, Abbott says, this Duck "occurs 
rather sparingly in the interior on the fresh-water ponds, where 
it is resident all the year round. It never utters any sound or 
note, either when rising or flying in the air — a singular exception 
to the general custom of the Duck-tribe." 

In the Province of Buenos Ayres, Durnford found it : — " The 
commonest of the larger species of Ducks, and in the winter 




< 

h 

tn 

(D 

on 
o 
(I. 



QUEKQUEDULA FLAVIROSTRIS 107 

found in very large flocks." In the Chupat Yalley he again 
found it : — " The most numerous species of Duck, nesting in thick 
grass in the vicinity of the river. Large flocks were feeding on 
the mussel-beds just outside the harbour." He mentions that 
the colonists trap these birds at night when they come to feed 
on the wheat stubbles. 

The Pintail breeds in the long grass in bottoms, also on the 
higher ground where there is covert not far from water. 

At Sara Settlement, on Oct. 19th, I found a nest in long 
grass containing seven eggs, two of which I took. These eggs 
are of exactly the same shape, size, and colour : oval, cream 
colour, 2'1 by 1*5 inches. 

This bird weighed 1 pound 6 ounces. 



QUERQUEDULA FLAVIROSTRIS (Vieillot) 

PatO del piCO amarillo y negro, Azara, Pdxaros, Paragumj y 

La Plata, iii, p. 448, 1805. 
Anas flavirostris, Vieillot, Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., y, p. 107, 1816. 
Querquedula CreCCOideS, Gould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle,'' Birds, 

p. 135, 1841 ; Cassin, U.S. Astron. Exp., ii, p. 203, pi. xxvi, 1855 ; Abbott, 

Ibis, p. 160, 1861. 

Querquedula flavirostris, Bumford, Ibis, pp. 41, 191, 1877 ; 

Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., iii, p. 131, 1889 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. 
Gap Horn, Ois., p. 205, 1891. 
Nettion flavirOStre, Sahadori, Gat. Birds Brit. AIus., xxvii, p. 261, 

1895. 

Habitat. — Southern Brazil, the Argentine Republic, and Chili, to Tierra 
del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 

c?, Rio McClelland Settlement, 6tli Jan. ; ^, 10th Jan., 1905. 
Iris — black ; bill — yellow, centre dark grey ; legs — greenish, drab. 

Many expeditions record the Yellow-billed Teal. By King 
it was obtained in the Strait of Magellan, and by Darwin 



108 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

there also and in La Plata. There are specimens in the British 
Museum collected by the "Erebus" and "Terror" at Hermite 
Island and the Falkland Islands. 

This is one of the latest migratory Duck, arriving the 
end of September or early in October. It frequents, alike, 
inland fresh waters and the sea coast, where at low tide it 
lurks in pools amongst the rocks, after the manner of the British 
Teal (Q. creccci). The mouth of a stream, no matter how 
small, is a favourite haunt. There is no tamer Duck in these 
regions. If unmolested in settlements, it becomes practically 
as tame as domestic water-fowl. At Cheena Creek there were 
always some in the stream or resting on its grassy banks, in 
the garden within gunshot of the manager's house. This 
Teal breeds in the island. I have seen and shot young birds 
hardly able to fly, but never found any eggs. 

Darwin observes it is " a true Teal, and in size and form 
closely assimilates to the Common Teal of Europe and to the 
species inhabiting J^orth America {Querquedula cm^oUnensis) T 
This is confirmed by Durnford, who says : — "This and the follow- 
ing species ( Querquedula cyanoptera) have very much the habits 
of our httle Teal at home — when flushed, following the course 
of the stream and dropping suddenly." 

In the Falkland Islands, Abbott found large flocks in some 
of the freshwater streams. He took a nest as early as the 
1 8th September. He says of this, that it " is more difficult to 
find than that of any other bird that I know of. It is placed 
in the dry grass in some out-of-the-way valley that no one 
frequents: and this is the more remarkable as the birds, when 
found in a stream or pond, are very tame. The complement of 
eggs is five." 

The weight of this bird averages some 1-i ounces. 



QUEEQUEDULA VEESICOLOE 109 



QUERQUEDULA VERSICOLOR (VieiUot) 

PatO del piCO de tres COloreS, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y la 

Plata, iii, p. 450, 1805. 
Anas versicolor, VieUlot, Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., v, p. 109. 1816. 
CyanopterUS fretensiS, Jardine and Selhy, Illustrations Orn., iv, 

pi. xxix, 1836. 
Querquedula versicolor, Ahhott, This, p. 161, 1861 ; Dumford, Ibis, 

pp. 41, 191, 1877 ; Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii. p. 131, 1889 ; 

Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 207, 1891 ; Salvadori, Gat. Birds 

Brit. Mits., xxvii, p. 291, 1895. 

Habitat. — Paraguay, the Argentine Republic, and Chili, to Tierra del 
Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 

^, Useless Bay Settlement, 20th Sept., 1904. 

Iris — dark brown ; bill — sky blue, upper portion yellow ; legs — grey. 

There is no mention of the Grey Teal by Darwin. 

This bird arrives in the island rather later than Dafila 
spinicauda, and probably breeds, though I have no certain 
knowledge of this. I first remarked it in Useless Bay marshes 
about September loth. It is fairly common, yet not plentiful. 
Usually it occurs in pairs or companies of five or six. I have 
never seen it in any considerable numbers, like A. cristata, 
M. sibilatrix, or D. spinicauda. It frequents streams and 
pools. It is quiet, retiring, and tame. If put up, it usually 
flies round and low — not overhead like M. sihilatrix and 
D. spinicauda. It is sluggish in habit and loath to travel 
any distance. 

"It is not common in East Falkland," Abbott says, " occur- 
ring in but few places, but where found is generally seen 
in numbers." Young birds were brought to him, and, no 
doubt, it breeds there. 

In the Chupat Valley, Patagonia, Durnford found it rare. 
During his visit he only saw two, a male and female, which had 
been shot near the village. In the Province of Buenos Ayres, 
however, it was very common, many breeding in the neigh- 



110 BIRDS OF TIERIIA DEL FUEGO 

bourlioocl. " Flocks of this species," he says, " do not mix with 
those of any other, but their flight and habits are similar to 
those of Q. flavirostns,'" In Central Patagonia he found it 
resident. 



TACHYERES CINEREUS (Gmelin) 

Oye Grise, Oye du Plein, Pemehj, Vny. lies Malowines, ii, 

p. 570, 1769. 
Race Horse Duck, Gooh, Voy. " Resolution " and " Adventure,'' ii, pp. 

186, 205, 1777. 
Anas cinerea, Gmelin, Systema Naturce, i, p. 506, 1788. 
Anas br achy pt era, Quoy et Gaimard, Zool. Voy. " Uranie,'' p. 139, 

pi. xxxix, 1824. 

Oidemia patachonica, King, Zooi. Joum., iv, p. lOO, 1828. 

MicropteruS patachoniCUS, King, Fro. Zool. Soc, p. 15, 1830; 
Abbott, Ibis, p. 162, 1861 ; Cunningham, Nat. Hist. Strait Magellan, 
pp. 91-98, 475, 1871 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 229, pi. v, 
1891. 

MicropteruS brachypteruS, Gould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle," 

Birds, p. 136, 1841. 
Steamer Duck, King, Surveying Voyages " Adventure " and " Beagle," 

i, p. 35, 1839. 
MicropteruS CinereUS, Abbott, Ibis, p. 161, 1861 ; Cunningham 

Trans. Zool. Soc, vii, pp. 493-501, pis. 58-62 (Anatomy), 1871 ; Oustalet, 

Miss. Sci. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 212, pi. iv, 1891. 
Tachyeres cinereuS, Salvadori, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., XX vii, p. 373, 

1895 ; Gates, Gat. Birds' Eggs Brit. Mus., ii, p. 184, 1902. 

Habitat. — Chili as far north as Valdivia, to Tierra del Fuego ; the Falk- 
land Islands. 

Five eggs, Useless Bay, 10th Jan., 1905. 

The Race Horse, Loggerhead, or Steamer Duck has consti- 
tuted one of the wonders of these waters from the time of the 
earliest navigators, and has been the subject of much controversy. 
The question of whether one or two s]3ecies are to be 
admitted has been finally determined in favour of one in the 
opinion of the majority, although so recent an authority as Dr. 



TACHYERES CINEEEUS 111 

Oustalet devotes twenty quarto pages and two plates to main- 
taining two. To this day the sheepmen of Tierra del Fuego are 
puzzled what to make of this bird : some are aware that it can fly; 
the majority are of opinion that it cannot. I do not think 1 came 
across one who had definitely arrived at the knowledge that the 
power of flight could be possessed by some individuals and 
lacking in others. 

None of the old voyagers mention having seen this Duck on 
the wing. 

The earliest record of it appears to be that of Pedro Sarmiento 
de Gamboa in 1580, who tells us of " Patos pardas y ber- 
mejas sui pluma que ne vuelan, sin6 a vuela pie corren, y par el 
agua no se pueden levantar sino a vuela pie, dando con las 
alones a manero de remo. Huyen por el agua con mucho 
velocidad, y desan un rastro por el agua como un bajel quando 
vaga." 

Amongst the birds on which the survivors of the ill-fated 
"Wager" subsisted on the Guaianeco Islands in 1740 — 
than whom probably no men ever underwent more terrible 
privations — Byron mentions one " much larger than a Goose, 
which we called the Race Horse, from the velocity with which 
it moved upon the surface of the waters, in a sort of half-flying 
half-running motion." 

Pernety alludes to it in the Falkland Islands in 1764 
as : — " Une espece de Canard, qui va par paires, quelquefois en 
troupe, dont les plumes des ailes sont tres courtes ; aussi ne s'en 
sert-il que pour se soutenir en courant sur I'eau, & ne vole pas. 
Si on ne le tue pas roide, it fuit a la surface tant qu'il lui reste 
un soufle de vie. Sa chair est huileuse & sent le marecage." 

In December 1774, Cook describes Christmas Sound on 
the south coast of Tierra del Fuego, of which he gives an 
excellent drawing. " Here,'' says he, "is a kind of Duck 
called by our people Race-horses, on account of the great 
swiftness with which they run on the water ; for they cannot 
fly, the wings being too short to support the body in the air." 

16 



112 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

Darwin never observed these birds on the wing, as he says : — 
"Their wings are too small and weak to allow of flight; but 
by their aid, partly swimming and partly flapping the surface of 
the water, they move very quickly. The manner is something 
like that by which the common house Duck escapes, when pur- 
sued by a dog ; but I am nearly sure that the Steamer moves 
its wings alternately, instead of, as in other birds, both together. 
. . . When pluming themselves in the evening in a flock they 
make an odd mixture of sounds, somewhat like bull-frogs within 
the Tropics." 

Capt. Abbott maintains two species. Of M. cinereus he 
says : — " This Duck frequents salt water. The harbour of Stanley 
is full of them, as well as every other part of the coast. Each 
pair has a certain district, where they take up their quarters, 
diving for shell-fish and whatever the tide throws up, and 
driving away any other of their species that may come within 
their bounds. This Duck lays from the end of September to 
the end of November, making its nest either in the long grass 
or bush of some kind. Whenever a male bird is seen by himself 
on the water during the breeding season, the female will be found 
sitting somewhere in a line perpendicular to the shore opposite to 
him, and generally not very far ofi". My dog once found seven 
nests, all with the old bird on, in a small grass valley a short 
way from the beach at Mare Harbour. Seven is the usual 
number of eggs, though sometimes eight or nine are found." 
To M. patackonicus he ascribes the habit of frequenting 
rather the freshwater ponds near the sea, and of being some- 
what more wary. Of this he shot one example, and found a 
nest with seven eggs. He saw " the flying Loggerhead take long 
flights." 

Dr. Cunningham says : — " It is generally to be observed in 
pairs, or small flocks of six or seven individuals, stationed on the 
rocks, or swimming about in the extensive beds of the ' kelp,' 
which girdles the coast in most spots ; but, occasionally large 
flocks, composed of many hundreds, are to be met with. When 



TACHYERES CINEREUS 113 

undisturbed in the water they swim quietly along, producing 
two peculiar notes — that of the male being a sort of mew rapidly 
repeated, while that of the female is a kind of deep growl — and 
diligently searching the fronds of the kelp for the animals to be 
found thereon, or diving for mussels, which appear to be one of 
their staple articles of diet, as I always found fragments of the 
shells in the stomachs of those I examined. The stomach is a 
most powerful organ, with very thick muscular coats, and the 
lower part of the windpipe or trachea of the male possesses an 
enlargement of considerable size. . . . When alarmed at the 
prospect of impending danger, they lose no time in getting up 
steam, paddling through the water at a marvellous rate by dint 
of flapping their little wings, the motion of which is so excessively 
rapid, that it is difficult to convince oneself that they are not 
revolving, leaving a long wake of foam like that produced by a 
miniature steamer behind them, and not ceasing this method of 
progression till a safe distance has intervened between them and 
the object of their dread. They often assist their escape, in 
addition, by diving, and coming up to the surface at a distance 
of many j^ards in a direction upon which it is impossible to 
calculate, when they show their heads for a moment, and then 
repeat the manoeuvre." 

As regards the size and weight of the Steamer Duck, there 
is great divergence of opinion. 

Pernety states : — " Chacun de ces Canards pese ordinairement 
de 19 a 20 livres au moins." 

At Staten Island, Cook mentions : — " We shot some, and found 
them to weigh twenty-nine or thirty pounds; those who eat of 
them said they were very good." 

" It is a gigantic Duck, the largest I have met with," 
observes King in Eagle Bay in 1827. *' It moves with astonish- 
ing velocity. It would not be an exaggeration to state its speed 
at from twelve to fifteen miles an hour. The largest we found 
measured forty inches from the extremity of the bill, to that of 
the tail, and weighed thirteen pounds. ... It is very difficult 
to kill them, on account of their wariness and thick coat of 

16 * 



114 BIRDS OF TIEKKA DEL FUEGO 

feathers, which is impenetrable by anything smaller than swan 
shot. The flavour of their flesh is so strong and fishy, that at 
first we killed them solely for specimens. Five or six months, 
however, on salt provisions, taught many to think such food 
palatable, and the seamen never lost an opportunity of eating 
them. I have preferred these Ducks to salt beef, but more as a 
preventive against scurvy, than from liking their taste." 

Darwin states this Duck sometimes weighs as much as twenty- 
two pounds. 

Cunningham records no Aveight, and sets the average length 
of adult birds at about thirty inches. 

Pre\dous observers confine themselves almost wholly to 

these birds in marine waters. In Tierra del Fuego, I have 

frequently seen them inland as much as ten or fifteen miles, 

passing from one piece of Avater to another, and also — more 

often — on lagoons unable to fly. What they live on in inland 

fresh waters, it would be interesting to know. Inland, I 

have invariably found them in pairs — and once a single bird 

on the Rio San Martin. On the sea coast, I have seen them in 

pairs, and in small companies of three or four together. If 

heavily built — and they are of amazingly massive proportions, 

particularly as regards the head and neck — they are sharp - 

sighted and sharp-witted. They fly or paddle out of range 

on the least appearance of danger. Particularly is this the 

case with birds on the sea shore. They have nothing of 

that element of curiosity about them, which is remarkable in 

CEchmophorus major so often found in the same waters in close 

company. Common as these Ducks are in small scattered 

communities, I did not obtain a specimen. I shot several at 

various times, but somehow was always prevented by some 

untoward circumstance from skinning one. Once I shot a fine 

male, one of a pair unable to fly, on a pan near the mouth of the 

Rio San Martin, bat could not convey it home in proper 

condition for skinning : my haversack broke under the weight, 

and having no saddlebags, and being burdened by a gun, it had 

to be abandoned. Frequently I found these birds lying dead 



t'ULICA LEUCOPTERA 115 

Inland, starved to death apparently, through the freezing of their 
waters. None I have handled would have weighed over 
twelve or fourteen pounds. 

Of the Steamer Duck breeding inland I have no knowledge. 
On January 10th, I took a nest containing five eggs on the 
southern shore of Useless Bay. It was built entirely of grey 
down, in the kelp, only a few feet above high tide mark on 
the outskirts of a breeding colony of Sterna hirundinacea. I ate 
one of the eggs, which was excellent. The three I have 
preserved differ in no respect from the average examples in 
the British Museum. They are of broad oval shape, a little 
larger in diameter at the large end ; of pale cream colour, 
smooth and glossy ; measuring respectively 3*2 by 2 "3, 3' 3 by 
2-3, and 3*2 by 2*2 inches. 



EALLI 

Family RALLID^ 

PULICA LEUCOPTERA (Vieillot) 

Poclia, Azara, Pcixaros, Paraguay y La Plata, iii, p. 472, 1805. 

Pulica leUCOptera, Vieillot, Nouv. Diet. d'Eist. Nat., xii, p. 48, 1817 ; 
Burnford, Ibis, p. 195, 1877; Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, 
p. 158, 1889; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 134, 1891; Sharpe, 
Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxiii, p. 224, 1894. 

Hahitat. — Southern Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru, to Tierra del Fuego. 

? , Useless Bay Settlement, 29tli Jan., 1905. 

Iris — majenta ; bill — greenish yellow, nostril orange ; legs and feet — olive- 
green. 

The Yellow-billed Coot is common at the head of Useless 
Bay in the deeper fresh-water lagoons and pools where there 
is floating weed, and where it is not easily got at owing to the 
treacherous nature of the ground. 



116 BIRDS OF tlERRA DEL PUEGO 

It is not mentioned by Darwin. 

In the Province of Buenos Ayres, Durnford found this Coot 
common in almost every "arroyo" and lagoon where reeds and 
aquatic plants afford any cover. 



LIMICOL^ 

Family CHARADRIIDyE 

BELONOPTERUS CHILENSIS (Molina) 

Parra Chilensis, Molina, Saggio Storia Naturale Chili, p. 239, 1789. 
PhilomachuS cay anus (nee Latham), Gould and Barivin, Voy. 

" Beagle," Birds, p. 127, 1841. 
HoplopterUS cayanUS (nee Latham), Abbott, Ibis, p. 155, 1861. 
VanelluS OCCidentaliS, Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Cap Ham, Ois., p. 117, 

1891. 
BelonopterUS chilensis, Sharpe, Cat. Birds Brit. Mios., sxiv, p. 165, 

1896 ; Oates, Cat. Birds' Eggs Brit. Mtis., i\, p. 14, 1902. 

Habitat. — Peru, Chili, and Patagonia, to Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland 
Islands. 

^ , San Sebastian Settlement, 23rd Oct. ; egg. Useless Bay Settlement, 
Oct., 1904. 

Iris and eyelids — magenta; bill — posterior portion, crimson, remainder 
black; spurs on wings— magenta ; legs — black, merging into magenta at the 
knee. 

Dr. Sharpe distinguishes the Chilian Spurwinged Plover 
from the nearly allied more northerly B. cayennensis (Gmelhi) 
by being larger, having the head, neck, and sides of the face 
clear ashy-grey instead of brown, the white tips of the tail 
broader, and the black occupying the whole breast. 

The total length is stated to be male 14*4, female 15*5 ; 
as against B. cayennensis, male 12*5, female 13'5 inches. 

V. cayennensis of Durnford from Buenos Ayres and 
Patao-onia, is accepted as such by Sharpe, though considerably 



BELONOPTERUS CHILENSIS 117 

south of its range as defined by him — " Colombia and Guiana to 
Central and Southern Brazil." 

The Tero-Tero has a personality which at once claims 
recognition — and thereafter constant execration. It arrives in 
the island on the first break-up of winter. Here and there 
I remarked a pair in the early days of September. These birds 
were then comparatively quiet and subdued in tone : later, when 
plentiful, they became tyrants. Their special charge appears 
to be to harrass man. Walk or ride where you will in the open 
lowlands, and they are coming for you or overhead, their harsh 
querulous screams ever audible — even in bed at nights. After 
accompanying one for a time, they sheer off and settle at a 
distance, there to scream out a tell-tale warning, and then 
perhaps again return to annoy one more closely. 

Partly to pay off old scores, partly to experiment on them 
as food, I once had an afternoon's sport at their expense. Shoot- 
ing them proved the more satisfactory operation. They have 
ample breasts, but the flesh is hard and strong-flavoured. During 
spring and summer they scatter all over the open lowlands in 
pairs, to breed. In autumn it proved a novel spectacle to see 
them in flocks of two hundred or so, preparatory to leaving 
the island. The proportion sum then suggested itself: — ''* It 
one pair of Tero-Tero's can make so much noise, how much 
will a hundred pairs make ? " 

" Tero-tero " ! I hear them now, seven thousand miles 
away ! 

" In many respects," says Darwin, " they resemble our 
Peewits {Vanellus cristatics), and frequent generally in pairs, 
open grass-land, and especially the neighbourhood of lakes. As 
the Peewit takes its name from the sound of its voice, so does 
the " Tero-Tero." While riding over the grassy plains, one is 
constantly pursued by these birds, which appear to hate 
mankind, and I am sure deserve to be hated, for their never 
ceasing unvaried harsh screams. The stillness of the night is 
often disturbed by them. To the sportsman they are most 



118 BIRDS OF TIEllRA DEL FUEGO 

annoyini^-, by announcing- to every other bird and animal his 
approach." 

The Tero-Tero would seem to be rare in the Falkland 
Islands, for Capt. Abbott obtained a single example, and 
mentions another being seen a short time afterwards. 

Common as the nests of these birds must be, I never found 
more than some broken egg shells. An egg given me by Mr. 
Betts of Useless Bay Settlement is pyriform, inclining to oval, 
resembling in shape rather the egg of a Snipe than of a Peewit. 
The colour is olive, marked somewhat finely with black spots 
over the entire surface. It measures 2*05 by 1*4 inches. The 
series in the British Museum consists of five with the green 
ground somewhat faded, and one rufous brown. 



EUDROMIAS MODESTA (Lichtenstein) 

CharadriuS modestUS, Lichtenstein, Verzeich. Doubl. Zool. Mus. 

Berlin, p. 71, 1823. 
VanellUS Cincta, Lesson et Garnot, Voij. " Coquille,'' i, p. 126, pi. xliii, 

1826. 
CharadriuS rubeCOla, Kmg, Zool. Joum., iv, p. 96, 1829 ; Seebohm, 

Geogr. Distrib. Cliaradrndce, pi. i, 1887. 
Squatarola cincta, S. fUSCa, Gould and Darwin, Voy. ''Beagle," 

Birds, p. 126, 1841. 
Eudromias urvillii, Abbott, Ibis, p. 155, 1861. 
Eudromias modesta, JDumford, ibis, p. 197, 1877, p. 402, 1878; 

Sdater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 171, 1889. 
Zonibyx modesta, Sharpe, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxiv, p. 238, 1896. 

Habitat. — Uruguay and tlie Argentine Republic, to Tierra del Fuegoj the 
Falkland Islands. 

S, (S, Cheena Creek Settlement, 17th Nov., 1904. 
Iris — brown J bill — black; legs — greenish- drab. 

The Red-breasted Plover arrives in the island a little later 
than the Tero-Tero. I saw my first pair on dry grass-land 



EUDEOMIAS MODESTA 119 

when crossing the island on the 20th of September. A month 
later, I saw another pair in similar country on the track 
between Useless Bay Settlement and Cheena Creek. Sub- 
sequently it proved plentiful in pairs on the summit of the 
Cheena Creek Range. 

Eudromias is a bird of extraordinarily variable haunt. It 
differs from other Plovers in these regions in being found almost 
solely on dry grass -land and on the tops of mountain ranges : 
never once did I see it in a marshy place, and only once a small 
flock of three on the sea shore. On the Cheena Creek Range 
I found it breeding; and caught one of the young on the 14th 
of November. It is a wild restless bird, which I had some 
difficulty in shooting with the '410. The flight is low and 
rapid : it gets away quickly, and usually compassing a good 
long distance, alights on a hummock of Azorella. The call is 
curiously melancholy : a long-drawn plaintive musical '"'"P-i-i-r-u^'' 
as it were bewailing the solitude of these bleak wind-swept 
regions, where hardly another bird was to be seen except Attagis 
and a single example of Myiotheretes rujiventris. 

On making the first ascent of the mountain named after him 
in February 1827, Surgeon Tarn, of the "Adventure," shot two 
examples at about 2,000 ft. alt. 

Darwin records the Red-breasted Plover from Tierra del 
Fuego, where it inhabited both the sea shore and the bare 
summits of the mountains ; from the Falkland Islands, where 
it frequented the upland marshes; from Chiloe, where he met 
with large flocks in the fields not far from the coast ; and from 
Uruguay, on inland grassy plains. 

Capt. Abbott says it is a migrant in the Falkland 
Islands, where it first appears in the beginning of September, 
when the dry peat-banks in all parts are covered with these 
birds. The breast plumage is then of a beautiful red. It 
lays the first week in October, placing its eggs, which are two 
in number, on the dry moss, without making any nest. The 
eggs are so nearly the colour of the surrounding ground that one 

17 



120 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

almost treads on them before seeing them. He sometimes, 
however, found the eggs placed under the shelter of a bush. 
After the breeding season the bright colour on the breast fades 
away. In the month of February they commence to gather in 
Hocks along the coast, and by the end of April disappear entirely. 

In the Province of Buenos Ayres, Durnfoixi found this 
Plover an autumn and winter visitor, in large flocks. In Central 
Patagonia, he met with large flocks which arrived with a strong 
S.E. wind. 

The stomach of one of my specimens contained large bur- 
rowing larva3 : the other, insects of many kinds and some gravel. 



iEGIALITlS PALKLANDICA (Latham) 

CharadriUS falklandiCUS, Latham, index Om., ii, p. 747, 1790; 

Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Gap. Rom, Ois., p. 114, 1891. 
^gialitiS falklandica, Ablott, ibis, p. 155, 1861 ; Dumford, Ibis, 

1878, p. 402 ; Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 172, 1889 ; 

Sharps, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxiv, p. 295, 1896. 

Habitat. — The Argentine Republic and Chili, to Tierra del Fnego ; the 
Falkland Islands. 

cJ, ? , Useless Bay Settlement, -SOth Ang., 1904. 
Iris — dark brown ; bill and legs — black. 

The Double -belted Plover is the earliest migrant of its kind. 
I observed a small flock in Useless Bay marshes on 29th August ; 
and they rapidly increased in numbers as spring set in. At 
first, they were somewhat wild ; later, they became extremely 
tame, though they always exhibited much distress should one 
happen to invade their breeding grounds — a patch of shingle or 
sandy earth in the \icinity of water. 

They are common on the shores of fresh-water lagoons, on 
marshy grass-land, and on the sea shore — especially on the mud- 
banks at low tide, in company with Trlnga fuscicolUs. Their 
ordinar}'' call is a plaintive " W-h-i-t-t." 






'11 




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(— I 

I— I 

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PLUVIANELLUS SOCIABILIS 121 

Like Golden Plover ( Charadrius pluvialis)^ at times they 
indulge in high, wild, dashing flight, careering and wheeling 
hither and thither, uttering a twittering whistle. 

Capt. Abbott says this Plover arrives in the Falkland Islands 
about the beginning of September and breeds shortly afterwards, 
although he also found a nest with fresh eggs in October. The 
eggs are generall}^ laid on a bank at a short distance from the 
beach, without any nest, being merely deposited in a hole. 

In Central Patagonia, Durnford records it resident, and 
plentiful on the banks of Lake Colguape and up the Sengel E. 
The nest he describes as a mere hollow scraped in the sand, 
and paved with fragments of small shells. The eggs are of 
a sandy ground colour, spotted and streaked, chiefly at the large 
end, with black. They measure 1*4 by 1 inches. 



PLUVIANELLUS SOCIABILIS (Hombron et Jacquinot) 

PlUVianelluS SOCiabiliS, Homhron et Jacquinot, Voy. " Astrolabe " 
et " Zelee,^' Zool., iii, p. 125, pi. xxx, 1853 ; Seehohm, Geogr. Bistrih. 
CharadriidcB, p. 107, pi. ii, 1888 ; Sharpe, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxiv, 
p. 303, 1896. 

Habitat — Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. 

? , Useless Bay Settlement, 16tli Sept., 1904 ; (J, 5tli N'ov., 1904. 

Iris — crimson; bill — black, nostril — dull crimson; legs and feet — coral 
pink, toe nails — black. 

A single example of the exquisitely beautiful Magellan 
Plover was obtained by Capt. King in the " Adventure," 
but there appears to be no record of it in writing by 
him ; and this bird was only described by Hombron and 
Jacquinot in 1853, from a specimen collected by the "Astrolabe" 
and "Z^lee" Expedition. There are, I believe, only two 
specimens in British collections : namely, the above-mentioned 

17 * 



122 BIRDS OF TIEIIRA DEL FUEGO 

bird of King's in the British Museum; and a female from 
Tova Harbour, Patagonia, in the Rothschild Museum at Tring. 

Previous descriptions and plates do not do this Plover justice ; 
there are discrepancies in colour, and an important character 
in the plumage has been overlooked. 

The British Museum specimen, sex unrecorded, measures : — 
Length, 7'5 ; culmen, 0'6 ; wing, 5'35; tarsus, 0*7; tail, 2'3o 
inches. 

My two Tierra del Fuego examples measure : — 
(?, Length, 8.5 ; culmen, 0*9 ; wing, 5'4 ; tarsus, O'S ; tail, 

2 '55 inches. 
?, Length, 8*3 ; culmen, 0*85; wing, 5'25 ; tarsus, 0-75 ; 
tail, 2'5 inches. 
In the colouring of the sexes there is no apparent difference. 
Above, the colour is light grey ; the darkest feathers are the 
primaries, the tail, and the lores, which are greyish black ; the 
throat is pure white, rather than " greyish white." In the tail, 
the five lateral under coverts curl up over the sides, and envelop 
these in a manner not found in any other Plover. 

"II va par bandes tres-nombreuses " is all that Hombron and 
Jacquinot record of its life history. 

This Plover is not a common bird. In six months I saw five 
pairs, at various times, in various places. Once I remarked a pair 
high up on the shingle in San Sebastian Bay, in close proximity 
to a fresh-water lagoon inland. In all other cases I found these 
birds frequenting inland lagoons, with bare shores, where the 
water is pink with the minute Crustacea on which they feed. At 
Black-necked Swan Lagoon, when chasing young Geese on 
horseback in February, I came across a pair with one youug 
bird, which last proved so active that it escaped me and con- 
cealed itself in the rocks. So exactly do they assimilate the 
grey-coloured earth and pink water of their feeding grounds, 
that it is most difficult to distinguish them, even at very close 
range, when they are at rest: it is then their shadow, rather 
than their actual form, which reveals their presence in the clear, 



H^MATOPUS LEUCOPUS 123 

soft sunlight of these high latitudes. They run about at a great 
pace, seeming quite to flit over the ground. The flight is 
dashing, headlong, and twisting — difficult to follow with the eye 
— and usually they negotiate a considerable distance before 
alighting again. 



HiEMATOPUS LEUCOPUS (Lesson et Garnot) 

Ostralega leUCOpUS, Lesson et Garnot, Voy. " Ooquille,''' i, p. 721, 
1826. 

HsematopUS lenCOpUS, Abbott, ibis, p. 156, 1861 ; Oustalet, Miss. 
8ci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 121, 1891 ; Sharpe, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxiv, 
p. 118, 1896 ; Oates, Gat. Birds' Eggs Brit. Mus., ii, p. 6, 1902. 

Habitat. — Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 

? , Useless Bay Settlement, 2nd Sept. ; eggs, San Sebastian Settlement, 
22nd Oct., 1904. 

Iris and eyelids — orange ; bill — scarlet ; legs and feet — flesh-colour. 

The Pied Oyster-catcher is distinguished by Dr. Sharpe 
from the British H. ostralegus and its allies by its black lower 
back and rump, the upper tail-coverts and base of tail being 
white ; the greater part of the under wing- coverts being black ; 
and primaries entirely black, without any white along the shaft 
or on the inner web. 

Practically all expeditions record it, with the exception of 
Darwin and Durnford. 

Unlike H. ater, I found the Pied Oyster -catcher extremely 
common, frequenting the sea shore in winter and the inland fresh- 
water lagoons and grass flats in spring and summer. Previous 
observers do not mention its being found inland. On arrival in 
the island in August, I remarked two pairs on the fresh -water 
lagoons at the head of Useless Bay. They were then so wild as 
to be almost unapproachable. Later, when the weather became 
warmer, they appeared in vast numbers and were exceedingly 



124 BIRDS OF TIERT^A DEL FUEGO 

tame, thoug'li aggressive to man. No bird is more conspicuous 
or numerous on the open flats, Geese excepted. Everywhere the 
plaintive " /*/-?//" is audible, shrill and ear-piercing at close 
quarters, silvery and soft in the distance. 

As one rides or walks, these birds continually fly at one, 
coming away from the ground in time only to clear one's head 
with a whiz of their massive wings and an ear-piercing " Pi-yi^' 
making one almost raise one's hand in defence against the 
formidable scarlet bill. After tilting at one in this fashion, they 
circle round, descend, and skimming the ground, come at one 
again as before from in front. On the ground, they often assume 
a curious posture — back to the wind, neck stretched out, tail 
blown over the head. 

Inland they feed mainly on large white larvae, which they 
find in the ground. 

These Oyster-catchers breed freely on the open grass flats. 
Several times I have come on their nests, placed in the slightly 
raised hillocks — which cover the ground and make walking so 
difficult in these regions — with fragments of ^gg shells, but never 
any eggs entire. 

In the Falkland Islands, Capt. Abbott found this bird 
common along the sea coast, laying its eggs in the beginning 
of October, sometimes on the sea shore, but more frequently 
a little way inland, on a dry, sandy soil. 

At San Sebastian Settlement, at the end of October, I was 
given a remarkable pair of eggs by Mr. Merton. They are very 
blunt ovals ; almost olive, finely and evenly marked with black 
spots and blotches over the entire surface ; they measure 2*05 
by 1*65 and 2 by 1*65 inches. They do not exactly resemble 
any one of the series in the British Museum : the latter are 
mostly longer in the axis, not one is as broad, and not one 
exactly corresponds in colour. 

The Ona name is " SeitT 



HiEMATOPUS ATER 125 



H-aSMATOPUS ATER (Lesson) 

HsBmatopuS niger (nee Pallas), Quoy et Gaimard, Zool. Voy. 

" Uranie;' i, p. 129, pi. xxxiv, 1824. 
Ostralega atra, Lesson, Traits d'Orn., p. 548, 1831. 
HaematopUS ater, Abbott, ibis, p. 155, 1861 ; Bumford, Ibis, p. 403, 

1878; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 119, 1891; Sharpe, 

Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxiv, p. 121, 1896. 

Habitat. — Central Patagonia on the east, Peru on the west, to Tierra 
del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 



-'o^ 



(^ Admiralty Sound, 19th Jan., 1905. 

Iris and eyelids — orange ; bill — scarlet ; legs and feet — pale flesh colour. 

The Black Oyster-catcher is recorded by the majority of 
expeditions, with the exception of Darwin — who did not meet 
with either this species or H. leucopus. Durnford observed 
it on Tombo Point, Central Patagonia, which appears to be 
its most northerly recorded range on the east coast. 

This Oyster-catcher seems common in other parts of the island, 
and is, I believe, extremely common in the Falkland Islands. 
I found it rare. I saw only three, all on the sea shore, a pair 
near the southern point of Useless Bay, and this single example 
on a spit of shingle at the entrance to Admiralty Sound. 

It appears to be entirely a shore form : I saw vast numbers 
of H. leucopus inland during spring and summer, but never one 
of this species. 

According to Capt. Abbott, in the Falkland Islands the Black 
Oyster-catcher lays its eggs in the beginning of November, just 
one month later than H. leucopus. A hole, formed in the 
shingle just above high- water mark, generally on a point 
running out, is its favourite nesting-place. 

There were remains of shell-fish in this bird's stomach. 



126 BinnS OF TIEKTiA DEL FUEGO 



Family SCOLOPACID^ 
GALLINAGO PARAGUAY^ (Vicillot) 

Becasina, -1~«m, Pa.raros, Paraguay y La Plata, iii, p. 270, 1805. 
Scolopax paraguayse,Fiei7?o^, Nouv. Diet, d' Hist. Nat.,u\, p. 356, 1816; 

Gould and Darwin, Vuy. "'Beagle,'" Birds, p. 131, 1841. 
Scolopax magellanicus, King. Zool. Joum., iv, p. 93, 1828 ; Gould 

and Darwin, Voy. " Bi^agle," Birds, p. 131, 1841. 

Gallinago magellanicus, Abbott, ibis, p. 156, 1861. 

GallinagO paraguayse, Dumford, ibis, 1877, p. 198; Sdater and 
Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 181, 1889 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Cap Horn, 
Ois., p. 124, 1891 ; Sharpe, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus. xxiv, p. 650, 1896 ; 
Oates, Gat. Birds' Eggs Brit. Mus., ii, p. 63, 1902. 

Habitat.' — South America, south, of the Equator (except Ecuador and Peru), 
to Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 

? , Useless Bay Settlement, 31st Aug. ; ? , 7th Sept. ; ^J, San Sebastian 
Settlement, 30th Oct. ; nest and eggs, Cheena Creek Settlement, 17th Nov., 
1904. 

Iris — dark brown ; bill — brown ; legs — greenish yellow. 

The Paraguayan Snipe arrives in the island on the break up 
of winter and breeds in vast numbers. The earliest record I have 
of its appearance is August 31st, when a specimen was brought 
me by a cattleman who had killed it with his whip. From 
that time onwards I saw an odd bird or two in the marshes 
at the head of Useless Bay, but never any considerable number 
there, though the ground seemed suitable enough. There are 
vast numbers of these birds in the marshes at the mouth of the 
Rio San Martin. There are also a good many at Sara Settlement, 
at Cheena Creek, and in certain places on the downs to the south 
of Useless Bay. At San Sebastian Settlement, in October, when 
breeding, they are drumming in the air, forty or fifty at a time, 
day and night. By no means are they confined to the marshes : 
they are commonly met with in soft peaty places, away from 
water, in the Sierra Carmen Sylva. Like all Snipes, they are 




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GALLINAGO PARAGUAY^ 127 

wild at times : usually, they are tame. I have often shot them 
sitting with the •410. 

Azara describes two species of Snipes in Becasina prima and 
B. segunda, but expresses himself somewhat doubtful about 
the latter, for he says " No lo asseguro absolutamente, bien que 
me lo parece." 

Dr. Sharpe refers the former to this species, although Azara 
states it has fourteen tail feathers and the latter sixteen. 

For the information of travellers and sportsmen who, like 
Admiral Kennedy, in "Sporting Sketches in South America," may 
not be aware of the value of a Snipe's tail in determining its 
species, I take the opportunity to note that there are sixteen 
feathers in the tail of the Paraguayan Snipe, as against fourteen 
in the Common Snipe of Great Britain. 

Of the habits of these Snipes, Azara says that in Montevideo 
they call them Aguateros, " figurandose que anuncian lluvia 
quando al anochecer y romper el dia, y d veces con la obscuridad, 
suben casi verticalmente a mucha altura ; de donde se dexan 
caer abandonados plegadas las alas cabeza abaxo, sonando ' Bere 
Bere ' muchas veces continuas, y antes de llegar al suelo vuelven 
d subir, repitiendo lo mismo algun rato. Verdad es que ignoro 
si la segunda especie usa esta practica, y si canta ' Kahd ' como la 
primera al levantarse asustada. Habitan las costas cenagosas de 
las lagunas, ocultdndose mucho en las yerbas y broza, sin dexarse 
ver en parages pelados, ni entrar en los bosques. Son seminoc- 
turnas y estacionarias : van solas 6 con otra identica, y a veces 
hasta quatro ; y son bastante ariscas, aunque se suelen levantar de 
muy cerca. Su alimento consiste sin duda en gusanos e insectos 
aquaticos ; y yo solte una viva de la primera especie en mi quarto, 
donde vivio bastantes dias comiendo pedacillos de carne cruda." 

Darwin says : — " Flight a very little less irregular and rapid 
than the English Snipe. I several times in May observed this 
species flying in lofty circles and suddenly stooping downwards, at 
the same time that it uttered a peculiar drumming noise, similar 
to that made by the English Snipe in summer, while breeding." 

18 



128 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

Capt. Abbott says the Paraguayan Snipe arrives in the 
Falkland Islands aboat the middle of August, and lays very 
soon afterwards, for he has taken eggs on the 1st of September. 
It mostly takes its departure in March, although a few stragglers 
remain all the year round. 

In the Province of Buenos Ayres, Durnford found this 
Snipe for the greater part migratory, arriving in April and 
leaving in August ; but though he did not find any nests, he 
felt sure some few breed in this neighbourhood. " During the 
winter they are sometimes extremely numerous," he says, 
" affording excellent sport ; but their movements are yery 
uncertain, for where there may be hundreds one day, the next 
there are scarcely any to be seen. At this season they go in 
small parties, or in flocks numbering three or four hundred birds. 
During the spring they go through the same aerial movements 
as the Common Snipe at home, rising to a great height by 
a circling motion^ and ' drumming ' whilst descending in 
a diagonal line." 

The Paraguayan Snipe is paler coloured, and weighs less 
than any other full Snipe I have shot. My three examples 
weighed respectively 4|;, 4, and 3J ounces. 

The eggs of this bird were to be had at San Sebastian Settle- 
ment about the end of September. I took a nest containing two 
eggs at Cheena Creek on November 17th. In shape these eggs 
are pyriform, in colour olive, spotted and blotched fairly evenly 
over the entire surface. They measure 1*7 by 1*2, and 1*6 by 
1*25 inches respectively. 



TRINGA FUSCICOLLIS (Vieillot) 

ChorlitO del pestorejO pardO, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La 

Plata, iii, p. 322, 1805. 
Tringa fuSCicollis, FiWZZof, Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat. ,xxxiy, p. 461, 1819 ; 



TRINGA FUSCICOLLIS 129 

Burnford, Ibis, p. 404, 1878; Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 185, 
1889 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 127, 1891. 

Tringa SChinzii (nee Brehm), Gould, Birds of Europe, iv,pl. cccxxx, 1837. 

Pelidna SChinzii (nee Brehm), Gould and Darwin, Voy. ''Beagle,'' 
Birds, p. 131, 1841. 

Tringa bonapartii, AUott, Ibis, p. 156, 1861. 

Pelidna bonapartei, Goidd, Birds of Great Britain, iv, pi. Ixxi, 1873. 
Heteropygia fUSCiCOlliS, Sharpe, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxiv, 
p. 574, 1896. 

Habitat. — North America to its extreme north ; West India Islands ; 
South America and Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands ; Europe and 
Great Britain. 

? , Useless Baj Settlement, 17th Sept., 1904. 
Iris, bill, and legs — black. 

The Common Sandpiper has an extensive range, in- 
cluding Europe and Great Britain in rare instances. It is 
chiefly seen in large flocks on the mudflats of the sea shore at 
low water, and also to some extent on inland lagoons. The 
middle of September I first observed and shot a single pair on 
the margin of an inland fresh lagoon, but being on the eve of a 
journey across the island could not skin more than the better 
specimen of the two, which proved to be a female. No outward 
difference was noticeable in the sexes. Large flocks of these 
birds frequented the mudflats at low tide in San Sebastian 
Bay, at the time of my visit in September and October ; and 
in company with them was ^gialitis falklandica. 

Darwin found flocks common on the shores of the inland 
bays in the southern parts of Tierra del Fuego. 

Abbott says this Sandpiper appears in the summer and 
breeds in the Falkland Islands. 

In Central Patagonia, Durnford observed it '"'resident, 
common, and always in flocks." 



18 



* 



180 BIRDS OF TTET^PA DEL FUEGO 



LIMOSA HUDSONICA (Lattam) 

The Red-breasted Godwit, Edwards, Nat. Hist. Birds, iii, p. 138, 

pi. cxxxviii, 1750, 
ScolopaX hudsonica, Latham, Index Orn., ii, p. 720, 1790. 
Limosa hudsonica, Gould and Darwin, Voy. ^^ Beagle," Birds, p. 129, 

1841 ; Abbott, Ibis, p. 156, 1861 ; Durnford, Ibis, pp. 43, 200, 1877 ; 

Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 291, 1891. 
Limosa haemastica, Sdater and Hudson, Argent. Orn., ii, p. 191, 1889. 

Habitat. — N"orth and South America ; the Falkland Islands. 

Late in the summer small companies of what I believe 
to be the Red -breasted Godwit appeared on the sea shore 
to the south of Useless Bay. They were not plentiful. 
Two lots of less than a dozen were all I saw, and these were 
very wild : for nearly an hour I followed a small flock over 
very rough rocks without being able to get within shot. 

In Chiloe and in the Falkland Islands, Darwin found this 
bird frequenting the tidal mud-banks in flocks. 

Capt. Abbott describes it "wary and difficult to obtain by 
gunshot." 

In Patagonia, Durnford observed a small flock feeding in 
company with Tringa maculata and a species of ^gialitis. Of 
its habits, he says: — "It nearly resembles the Bar-tailed 
Godwit at home." 



Family THINOCORIDiE 

ATTAGIS MALOUINUS (BoddaeVt) 
La Caille des lies Malouines, Buffon, Hist. Nat. Ois., ii, p. 477, 

pi. ccxxii, 1772. 
TetraO malouinUS, Boddaert, Table, Blanches Enluminees D'Hist. Nat, 

D'Auhenton, p. 13, 1783. 
Attagis falklandica, Goidd and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle," Birds, 

p. 117, 1841. 




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A.TTAGIS MALOUINUS 



ATTAGIS MALOUINUS 131 

AttagiS malOTlinUS, Abbott, ibis, p. 154, 1861 ; Sharpe, Gat. Birds 

Brit. Mus., xxiv, p. 716, 1896, 
Attagis maluina, Oustaht, Miss. Sd. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 107, 1891. 

Habitat. — Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 

? , Cheena Creek Settlement, lltli N"ov. ; ? ? , 14tli Nov., 1904. 

Iris — light brown ; bill — drab ; legs and feet — pale fawn, varying almost to 
silver grey. 

Of all the birds in Tierra del Fuego Attagis interested me 
most, whether from the naturalist's or sportsman's point of view. 
As the name implies, this species was originally described from 
the Falkland Islands. 

The British Museum possesses a series of eight, several of 
which are from Hermite Island. 

My Tierra del Fuego examples are distinctly more black and 
less rufous than any in the British Museum. They are also 
larger. In the Catalogue of Birds, the recorded measurements 
for the male are : — Length 11*0, culmen 0"6, wing 5"9, tarsus 
0*75, tail 2*1 inches. 

My three females measure : — 
Length 11*5, culmen 0*7, wing 6*5, tarsus 0"8, tail 3.0 inches. 
„ 11-2, „ 0-65, „ 6-8, „ 0-85, „ 2-9 „ 
„ 10-5, „ 0-65, ,, 6-8, „ 0-85, „ 2-9 „ 

Previous observers have variously named Attagis a Quail, 
a Grouse, a Partridge, and an Ortyx. It has since been 
relegated to the Limicolee, which it resembles in the structure 
of the sternum, furcula, and pelvis. Outwardly, on the other 
hand, it is a game bird, not only in general appearance, but in 
haunts, habits, and food. It has also the crop of a gallinaceous 
bird. 

Attagis has the wildest haunt of any land bird in these 
regions, for which reason comparatively few expeditions record 
it, and little or nothing has been written of its life history. 

The " Quail of a large and peculiar species," mentioned 
by Fitzroy in the " Beagle " in 1830 as occurring at Cape 



132 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

Gloucester — one of the extreme rugged storm-beaten points of 
land to the west of Desolation Island — is probably Attagis. 

Darwin says of this bird : — " It is not uncommon on the 
mountains in the extreme southern parts of Tierra del Fuego. 
It frequents either in pairs or small coveys the zone of Alpine 
plants above the region of forest. It is not very wild, and 
lies very close on the bare ground." 

With his concluding remark my experience is at variance, 
but agrees with what he says of the very nearly allied A. gciyi^ 
which, except in colouring, is practically the same bird. Of the 
latter he says : — " Only a little below the snow-line, on the Andes, 
behind Copiapo, which appears so entirely destitute of vegetation, 
that anyone would have thought that no living creature could 
have found subsistence, I saw a covey. Five birds rose together, 
and uttered noisy cries ; they flew like Grouse, and were very 
wild. I was told that this species never descends to the lower 
Cordillera." 

" In their respective countries," Darwin concludes, " these 
two species occupy the place of Ptarmigan of the northern 
hemisphere." 

In the Falkland Islands Capt. Abbott shot one example 
on the beach at Mare Harbour, in the beginning of October, 
1859, and this was the only one he ever saw. 

In Tierra del Fuego Attagis frequents high black moor- 
land, where there is no other vegetation than the heatherlike 
crowberry, sparse tufts of wiry grass, and spongy hummocks 
of AzoreUa^ with intervening patches of bare peat}^ earth. 
I found the droppings of these birds on the very summit of 
Nose Peak. Like Red Grouse in their wildest mountain haunts, 
they are not easily found without a knowledge of their habits 
and the sort of ground they frequent. In several houi's' riding 
and quartering the gTound, accompanied by a mounted Ona and 
a dog, I usually saw no more than two or three single birds, 
and occasionally a pair together. They occur at somewhat rare 
intervals, in commanding positions, where exceptionally large 






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ATTAGIS MALOUINUS 133 

Azorella hummocks afford, as occasion requires, coign of vantage 
or shelter from the wind. Spots frequented by them are 
remarkable by their exactly Grouse-like droppings on the bare 
green surface of the larger hummocks. 

They rise wild, and get away at a tremendous pace, making 
a great to-do, twisting and skimming, crowing excitedly 
" Tu-wkit^ tu-whit, tu-wMt^^ as long as they are on the wing. 
Each time they compass a flight of several hundred yards ; 
sometimes topping a rise or going round a slope like a Grouse, 
leaving no clue to their line beyond. Usually, they alight on 
some commanding spot, where it is possible to mark them. It 
often requires manoeuvring to get up to these birds a second 
time. If walked on direct, they usually fly before one comes 
within shot. The best way is, to work round in a lessening 
circle. When nearly approached in this manner, they manifest 
uneasiness — shuflling round and round and moving hither and 
thither — as Red Grouse sometimes do in similar circumstances. 

It was spring-time when I was on the Cheena Creek Moun- 
tains ; hence my finding them in pairs. At other times of the 
year, no doubt, their habits are otherwise. In the depths of 
winter they are said to pack in large numbers, and when the 
snow is deep are sometimes seen on the lowland flats. As far as 
my observations go, their food is exclusively the crowberry 
{Empetrum nigrum)^ varied with a small black seed the size of rape. 
The droppings exactly resemble those of Red Grouse, differing 
only in being smaller. They are compact massive birds, 
weighing about one pound. As compared with Thinocorus, 
they are more massive in proportion. The plumage not only 
resembles that of a Grouse in general colouring and markings, 
but the feathers are as soft and as easily disarranged, coming 
away freely when shot, and sticking up or lying down in 
patches. The contour of the head and bill is exceedingly 
Grouse-like ; the skin is delicate ; the flesh is red and somewhat 
similarly flavoured. 

The Ona name is " Toshti.^^ 



134 BIKDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 



THINOCORUS ORBIGNYANUS (Lesson) 

ThinOCOruS orbignyanUS, Lesson, GentuHe Zoologiqtie, p. 137, pi. 

xlviii (^, p. 139, pi. xlix ? , 1830 ; Sclater and Uudson, Argentine Orn., ii, 

p. 178, 1889. 
Tllino corns ingse, Oassin, U.S. Expl. Exp., p. 288, 1858. 
ThinOCOruS orbigniaims, Slmrpe, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxiv, 

p. 718, 1896. 

Balitat. — Peru and Bolivia, to Tierra del Faego. 

S S 'i ■> Useless Bay Settlement, 3rd Nov. ; ,$ , Rio McClelland Settle- 
ment, 4tli Dec. : S, 30th Dec, 1904 

Iris — brown ; bill — centre dark grey, remainder yellow ; legs — yellow. 



Hitherto, D'Orbigny's Seed Snipe seems not to have been 
recorded south of the Argentine Pampas. 

It was not obtained anywhere by King, Darwin, Cmmingham, 
Durnford, Coppinger, or the French Mission to Cape Horn. 
The United States Exploring Expedition obtained a single 
specimen at the Island of San Lorenzo, Peru. 

The series in the British Museum are rufous above, where 
the Tierra del Fuego birds are almost black. 

This is the commonest of the Seed Snipes, yet hardly 
plentiful. I found these birds in pairs, in open country, at the 
higher altitudes — more especially along tracks where there is 
short green grass. On the downs to the south of Useless 
Bay I once saw four together. In appearance and habits 
they very closely resemble T. rumicworus, of which they 
appear to be only an enlarged form. They possess little 
instinct of self preservation, yet efface themselves in an 
unaccountable manner at times. They lie close, rise with 
a chuckle, ily erratically like Caprimulgus for one hundred yards 
or less, and alight anyhow, anywhere. On occasions, they soar 
high into the air like a Skylark, giving utterance to a full-toned 
bell-like " Tu-wu^'' repeated an indefinite number of times, audible 
plainly for a quarter of a mile. In skinning them, I found the 




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THINOCOEUS EUMICIVOEUS 135 

skin of the neck so loose as almost to fall away of its 
own accord. The food of this bird is a tliick succulent 
leaf with uneven edges and bars across it, the bright green 
juice of which irretrievably stains the feathers, whether 
voided from the bill or from the vent. The flesh is red and 
flavoured like that of a Grouse. Two males and one female 
weighed 4|; ounces each ; another male weighed 5 ounces. 
The Ona name is " Kotel^ 



THINOCORUS RUMICIVORUS (Eschscholtz) 

ThinoCOrUS rumicivorTlS, Eschscholtz, Zool. Atlas, p. 2, pi. ii, 
1829; Gould and Darwin, Voy. "Beagle,'^ Birds, p. 117, 184-1; 
Durnford, Ibis, p. 197, 1877, p. 403, 1878; Sclater and Hudson, Argen- 
tine Orn., ii, p. 176, 1889; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 108, 
1891 ; Sharpe, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxiv, p. 719, 1896. 

Habitat. — Peru and Bolivia, to Tierra del Fuego. 

c? ? , Cheena Creek Settlement, 11th Nov. ; ^, 16tli Nov., 1904 
Iris — brown ; bill — drab ; legs and feet — yellow. 

The Pigmy Seed Snipe was observed by Darwin as far 
south as Santa Cruz, on the inland plains of Patagonia, in 
lat. 50°. The French Mission to Cape Horn did not obtain it 
south of the mainland. 

This bird is fairly common, occurring in pairs here and there. 
Its usual haunt is open ground, at low altitudes, in places where 
the grass is short and delicate. It rises somewhat like a Lark, 
with a twitter, flips away in erratic fashion for a short distance, 
perhaps thirty yards, and without any attempt at con- 
cealment resumes feeding or remains stationary, indiflferent to 
one's presence. At Cheena Creek I put up a pair, about a mile 
from the settlement, when on my way into the mountains to 
shoot guanaco. As I particularly wanted the birds, I sent back 
my Ona guide for the '410. While he was away they remained 

19 



136 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

feeding unconcerned 1}^ within forty yards of me, with my 
horse stamping and sidling and blowing his nose with 
impatience, whilst I kept them in view. 

Darwin describes this bird in such detail that it is clear 
he considered it exceptionally interesting. "It is found," 
he says, " wherever there are sterile plains, or open dry pasture 
land, in South America. It frequents the most desolate places, 
where scarcely another living creature can exist. It is found 
either in pairs or in small flocks of five or six ; but near 
the Sierra Ventana I saw as many as thirty and forty together. 
Upon being approached they lie close, and then are very difficult 
to be distinguished from the ground ; so that they often rise 
quite unexpectedly. When feeding they walk rather slowly, 
with their legs wide apart. They dust themselves in roads and 
sandy places. They frequent particular spots, and may be 
found there day after day. When a pair are together, if one is 
shot, the other seldom rises ; for these birds, like Partridges, 
only take wing in a flock. In all these respects, in the muscular 
gizzard adapted for vegetable food, in the arched beak and fleshy 
nostrils, short legs and form of foot, the Thmocorus has a close 
affinity with Quails. But directly the bird is seen flying, one's 
opinion is changed; the long pointed wings, so diff'erent from 
those in the gallinaceous order, the high irregular flight, and 
plaintive cry uttered at the moment of rising, recall the idea of 
a Snipe. Occasionally they soar like Partridges when on the 
wing in a flock. ... I opened the stomachs of many specimens 
at Maldonado, and found only vegetable matter, which consisted 
of chopped pieces of a thick rushy grass, and leaves of some 
plant, mixed with grains of quartz. The contents of the 
intestine and the dung were of a very bright green colour. At 
another season of the year, and further south, I found the craw 
of one full of small seeds and a single ant. Those which I shot 
were exceedingly fat, and had a strong ofi'ensive game odour ; 
but they are said to be very good eating when cooked. Pointers 
will stand to them." 



STERNA HIRUNDINACEA 137 

In the Province of Buenos Ayres, Durnford sometimes found 
T. rumicivorus in large flocks. " In their habits," he says, 
" they resemble the Rails and Sandpipers. Like the former 
they sometimes squat closely to the ground till almost 
trodden upon, and when put up run some distance before taking 
wing. They frequent very arid dry places, and also damp, 
marshy ground. In the air their long, pointed wings, and rapid 
erratic flight, added to their low whistling note, alwa3^s suggests 
an affinity to the Tringce. In size and weight I have found these 
birds to differ exceedingly, and this is not dependent on sex . . . 
Their food consists of fibrous vegetable matter and seeds." 

In Central Patagonia, he observed them resident and abundant 
throughout his journey. " I took eggs at the end of October," 
he says, " and the young were running in the middle of 
November : but this species probably has two or more broods 
in the season ; for I found chicks in March. The nest is a 
slight depression in the ground, sometimes lined with a few 
blades of grass ; and before leaving it the old bird covers up 
the eggs with little pieces of stick. The eggs are pale stone 
colour, very thickly but finely speckled with light and dark 
chocolate markings ; they have a polished appearance, and 
measure 1*3 by 0.8 inches." 

In my experience, this bird feeds exclusively on vegetable 
matter. 

The Onas know it as " Kok.'^ 



Family LARID^ 

STERNA HIRUNDINACEA (Lesson) 

sterna hirundinacea, Lesson, Traits d'Ornithologie, p. 621, 1831 ; 
Durnford, Ibis, p. 404, 1878 ; Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, 
p. 196, 1889 ; Oustalet, Miss. 8ci. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 183, 1891 ; Saunders, 
Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxv, p. 52, 1896 ; Oates, Cat. Birds' Hggs Brit. 
Mus., i, p. 182, 1901. 

19 * 



138 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

Sterna cassinii, Ahiott, Ibis, p. 16G, 18G1. 

TTahitaf. — South America, on tlio east from Brazil, on the west from 
Peru to Cape Horn ; the Falkland Islands ; South Georgia Islands ; South 
Shetland Islands. 

(J, ? , Useless Bay, 5th Jan., 1905. 

Iris — black ; bill and legs — bright scarlet. 

The Swallow Tern is common on such parts of the coast as 
are favourable to its existence. I have never remarked it inland. 
It appears to prefer a rocky coast with here and there a spit of 
shingle to an open flat shore. Much of its time it rests 
on large rocks, surrounded by water. Its expanse of wing is so 
enormous in proportion to its size as to appear to burden its 
flight, entailing vastly unnecessary^ labour in moving the shortest 
possible distance. It would be hard to find a more delicately 
and beautifully coloured creature in its soft silver grey and 
snow-white plumage, with long sharp needle -like scarlet biU 
and tiny scarlet legs and feet. It is, however, anything but 
pleasant in its attitude to man — it is ever noisy and aggressive 
after the manner of its kind. 

I found a small breeding colony on a spit of shingle on the 
southern shore of Useless Bay on January 10th. There were 
about one hundred birds, and numbers of nests placed close 
together in an area some fifty yards long by three or four yards 
broad parallel with and only a few feet above high tide mark. 
The usual number of eggs in each nest was two, laid in a 
slight depression in the bare shingle. I took about a dozen, 
representative of more than half a dozen distinct types. Unfor- 
tunately, with the exception of three, all proved too far incubated 
for preservation. No pair of eggs of all I saw exactly resembled 
any other pair. Not only did they differ vastly in shape, but in 
ground colour and markings. They were variously ovate, short 
ovate, elongate ovate, or ovate pyriform. In ground colour they 
ranged from pale greenish blue to ochre brown. The markings 



STERNA HIRUNDINACEA 139 

were generally distributed over the entire surface, usually more 
numerous and dense at the larger end, occasionally forming 
a massive ring. 

Capt. King and Darwin do not mention this Tern. 

Capt. Abbott says it arrives in the Falkland Islands 
at the end of July, and breeds in communities on the 
sea beach, but also occasionally inland, in pairs, laying two, 
sometimes three eggs in each nest. It disappears about the end 
of March. 

Durnford met with, a very remarkable colony on Tombo 
Point, Central Patagonia, which he thus describes : — " I was 
prepared to see a considerable quantity of birds ; but the number 
that met my eyes fairly staggered me. The nests cover an area 
about 150 yards square. Allowing three nests and five eggs 
for every square yard (a very moderate computation, it being 
difficult to walk without treading on the eggs), we arrive at 
the extraordinary number of 67,000 nests, 135,000 birds, and 
112,500 eggs ; and, wonderful as these figures may appear, I 
feel sure that I have rather understated than overstated the 
numbers. The nests were mere hollows in the fine gravel or 
shingle, and contained one, two, and sometimes three eggs. The 
latter generally have the appearance of the eggs of the Sandwich 
Tern, though of course smaller, and out of many hundreds I did 
not see two alike." 

The three eggs I have represent about the extremes of 
variation in the colony in Useless Bay. A pair from the same 
nest are of elongate ovate form, with pale greenish-blue ground, 
and somewhat sparse markings over the entire surface, tending 
to become more numerous at the larger end. They measure 1'9 
by 1*25 and 1'9 by 1-3 inches. The third egg is short ovate, 
with ochre-brown ground and a well defined massive ring round 
the larger end ; it measures 1*75 by 1'3 inches. Of the latter 
type of egg there was but one pair in the colony. 



140 BIRDS OF TIEKKA DEL FUEGO 



LARUS GLAUCODES (Mcycn) 
LaruS ridibundUS, K-ing (nee Idnnceus) Zool. Journ., iv, p. 104, 1828. 

Larus roseiventris, Abbott, Ibis, p. 166, 1861. 

Xema Cirrocephalum (wee Vieillot), Gould and Darwin, Voy. 

" Beagle," Birds, p. 142, 1841. 
Larus glauCOdeS, Meyen, Nova Acta, Kaiserliche Leojpoldino-Caro- 

linische Deutsche Akad. Nat., xvi, p. 115^ pi. xxiv, 1834; Oustalet, Miss. 

Sci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 181, 1891 ; Saunders, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxv, 

p. 203, 1896. 

Habitat. — Fi'om Patagonia on the east and Chili on the west, to Cape 
Horn ; the Falkland Islands. 

c? , ? , Sara Settlement, 14tli Oct., 1904 ; juv. sk., Useless Bay, 8th Jan. 
1905. 

Iris — brown ; bill, eyelids, and legs — dark crimson. 

The Black-headed Gull is very nearly allied to L. ridihundus 
(LiniiEeus) of Great Britain, and to L. macidiijennis (Lichten- 
stein) of South America. Mr. Howard Saunders distinguishes it 
from the latter in having less black and no bar whatever on any 
of the primaries : these having little more than black borders on 
the inner webs. It is also rather smaller. 

Durnford records L. mamUpennis from the Province of 
Buenos and Central Patagonia, but not this species. 

This Gull is common along the sea coast and inland. Usually 
it is in company with L. domimcanus, but is not as numerous. 
What it lacks in numbers it makes up in being more noisy 
and aggressive to man. The discordant " JL-a-a-a-a ./ " is 
a familiar and exasperating sound, whether on the open flats 
where one of their special functions appears to be to harrass 
man, or in settlements where they fight over ofi'al and despoil 
the poultry. 

Darwin says : — " In the plains of Buenos Ayres I saw some 
of these birds far inland, and I was told they bred in the 
marshes. Near Buenos Ayres this Gull, as well as the 



LARUS DOMINICANUS 141 

L. dominicanus, sometimes attends the slaughter-houses to pick 
up bits of meat." 

" It arrives in the Falkland Islands," Abbott says, " about 
July 25th, almost to a day, though occasional stragglers occur 
all the year round. It breeds in the beginning of December in 
separate communities on a point of the coast or adjacent islands. 
The nests are placed very thickly together, and each contains 
two, or sometimes three eggs." 

In Tierra del Fuego, this bird is entirely a scavenger where 
sufficient means of subsistence obtain. 



LARUS DOMINIC A.NUS (Lichteustein) 

Blackbacked Gull, Latham, Synopsis Birds, iii, p. 372, 1785. 

La gataiota mayor, Aeara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La Plata, iii, p. 338, 
1805. 

LarUS dominicanUS, Liditenstein, Verzekh. Doubl. Zool. Mus. Berlin, 
p. 82, 1823 ; Gould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle," Birds, p. 142, 1841 ; 
Gray and Mitchell, Genera Birds, iii, p. 654, pi. clxxx, 1846 ; Abbott, Ibis, 
p. 165, 1861 ; Burnford, Ibis, p. 201, 1877, p. 405, 1878 ; Sclater and 
Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 197, 1889 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Cap Horn, 
Ois., p. 173, 1891; Saunders, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxv, p. 245, 1896. 

Habitat, — South America, from Brazil and Peru, to Cape Horn ; the Falk- 
land Islands ; South Georgian Islands ; South Africa ; the Crozet Islands ; 
Kerguelen Island ; New Zealand and islands to the southward. 

S, Useless Bay, 25th Jan., 1905. 

Iris — old gold ; eyelids — red ; bill — dark yellow ; lower mandible, lower 
portion — red ; legs — greenish yellow. 

■ The Dominican Gull nearly resembles Larus marinus 
(Linnaeus) of Great Britain, but is smaller : its total length 
is about 23 inches, as against about 30 inches in L. marinus. 

It has an extensive range, including some of the remotest 
islands in the southern hemisphere ; but — according to Mr. 
Howard Saunders — it has not yet been recorded from Tristan da 
Cunha, Prince Edward Island, or Marion Island. 



142 BIRDS OF TIER R A DEL FUEGO 

This is the commonest Gull met with, not only on the coast but 
inland. It is particularly aggressive to man, making for one at 
sight, following one overhead, and barking like a dog " Wau- 
ivan-ivauJ' At other times, it gives utterance to a long-drawn 
plaintive ^'' K-iv-i-i-y-u.^^ 

Large numbers congregate in the neighbourhood of settle- 
ments, and there spend their days fighting over offal. They 
breed on islands in fresh water lagoons, in places sometimes 
impossible of access by all ordinary methods. 

Azara mentions the "voz muy desagradable " of this bird, 
and says " abunda infinito en el Rio de la Plata." 

Darwin says : — '^ It abounds in flocks on the Pampas — 
sometimes even as much as fifty and sixty miles inland. 
Near Buenos Ay res, and at Bahia Blanca, it attends the 
slaughtering-houses, and feeds, together with the FoJyhori 
and CatharteSj on the garbage and offal," 

Capt. Abbott says it is a common resident in the Falk- 
land Islands, though many leave in winter. In the beginning 
of December they commence breeding in large flocks, laying two 
eggs near the beach, or on a small island, without much attempt 
at a nest. In September they appear in large numbers, many of 
them immature. During the winter he observed few, and these 
all old birds. 



TUBINARES 

Family PELECANOIDID^ 

PELECANOIDES URINATRIX (Gmelin) 

Procellaria urinatrix, Gmelin, Systema Natwce, i, p. 560, 1788. 
Procellaria berard, Quoy et Gaimard, Zool. Voy. " Ura7iie," p. 135, 

pi. xxxvii, 1824'. 
PelecanoideS berardi, Gould and Darwin, Voy. ''Beagle," Birds, 

p. 138, 1841 ; Ahbutf, Ibis, p. 164, 1861. 



PELECANOIDES URINATRIX 143 

Pelecanoid.es TirinatriX, Oustaht, Miss. Sd. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 167, 

1891 ; Sahin, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxv, p. 437, 1896. 
PuflO-Iiaria ■UrinatriX, Gould, Birds of Australia, vii, pi. Is, 1844. 

Habitat. — The Seas of Australia, New Zealand, and Southern South 
America. 



My experience of the Diving Petrel is limited to having seen 
a specimen blown ashore at the head of Useless Bay in September, 
which Mr. J. G. Cameron has in his possession. This I at first 
thought might be the Little Auk (Alca alle)^ without knowing 
whether that bird could occur in high southern latitudes. 

Many expeditions record this Petrel from the region of Cape 
Horn, with varying experience as to its being rare or common. 

The " Uranie " met with one example only, in the Falkland 
Islands, " 'prise lorsqu 'elle venoit se reposer a bord," and noted 
"chose excessivement rare." 

Darwin found this bird common in the deep and quiet creeks 
and inland seas of Tierra del Fuego and on the west coast of 
Patagonia, as far north as the Chonos Archipelago. He saw 
but one in the open sea, and this was between Tierra del 
Fuego and the Falkland Islands. " It is a complete Auk in 
its habits," he says, " although from its structure it must be 
classed with the Petrels. ... Its affinity to the latter is clearly 
shown by the form of its beak and nostrils, length of foot, and 
even by the general colouring of its plumage. To the Auks it 
is related in the general form of its body, its short wings, shape 
of tail, and absence of hind toe to the foot. When seen from a 
distance, and undisturbed, it would almost certainly be mistaken, 
from its manner of swimming and frequent diving, for a Grebe. 
When approached in a boat, it generally dives to a distance, and 
on coming to the surface, with the same movement takes flight ; 
having flown some way, it drops like a stone on the water, as if 
struck dead, and instantaneously dives again. IsTo one seeing 
this bird for the first time, thus diving like a Grebe and flying 
in a straight line by the rapid movement of its short wings like 

20 



144 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

an Auk, would be willing to believe that it was a member of the 
family of Petrels; the greater number of which are eminently 
pelagic in their habits, do not dive, and whose flight is usually 
most graceful and continuous. I observed at Port Famine that 
these birds, in the evening, sometimes flew in straight lines from 
one part of the ground to another ; but during the day they 
scarcely ever, I believe, take wing if undisturbed." 

"The habit and economy of the Diving Petrel," says Gould, 
" are totally different from those of all the other members of the 
family, with the exception^ of course, of the one or two other 
species belonging to the same genus. It possesses none of those 
great powers of flight common to the rest of the family, but has 
this loss amply compensated for by its powers of diving, which 
are so great that it is even said to fly under water. It thus gives 
chase to shrimps and other small crustaceans, fry of fish, etc., 
upon which it feeds ; and in turn finds a destroying enemy in the 
barracoota, a ravenous fish, so-called by the colonists, and which 
is very common in the seas off the southern parts of Australia. 
Its flight is a curious fluttering motion, performed so close to the 
surface that it rarel_y rises enough to top the waves, but upon 
being met by them makes progress by a direct course through 
instead of over them. I observed this, or a nearly allied species 
about 20 degrees to the eastward of New Zealand, taking mollusks 
from the surface of the ocean, now and then dashing under water, 
rising again, skimming close to the surface, and then flying off in 
a straight line with a quick fluttering motion of the wings." 

In the Falkland Islands Capt. Abbott found this Petrel 
uncommon, the only place he saw it being Berkeley Sound. 



Family DIOMEDEIDJ^ 

DIOMEDEA EXULANS (Linn^us) 

The Man of War Bird, Albin, Nat. Hist. Birds, iii, p. 76, 1740. 
Diomedea exulans, Linnceus, Systema Naturce,i, p. 214, 1766 j Gould, 



DIOMEDEA EXULANS 145 

Birds of Australia, vii, pi. xxxviii, 1848 ; Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Cap Horn, 
Ois., p. 157, 1891 ; Salvin., Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxv, p. 441, 1896. 

Habitat. — The Southern Ocean. 

There is a Wandering Albatross, found dead inland, roughly 
stuffed but in good condition, in Mr. A. A. Cameron's house 
at Useless Bay Settlement, 

On my voyage in the " Milton " I remarked this Albatross on 
August 2nd, in lat. 22°: 00' S ; long. 40° : 25' W— the furthest 
north I ever remember having seen it on many Atlantic voyages. 

How poetical is this bird's name, yet how characteristic of 
its existence ; its home the ocean at its greatest breadths and 
depths, from the tropics, throughout the roaring forties, to the 
remote islands in the Antarctic ; wandering at will over the face 
of the waters ; — that 

" Glorious mirror, where the Almighty form 
Glasses itself in tempests ; in all time, 
Calm or convulsed — in breeze, or gale, or storm, 
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime 
Dark-heaving ;— boundless, endless, and sublime — 
The image of Eternity — the throne 
Of the Invisible " ! 

All who sail the seas and are the least observant must be 
familiar with the Wandering Albatross ; but, in a modern mail 
steamer, amidst a crowd of passengers, awninged and screened 
from sky and sea, one does not realize it as in a sailing ship, or in 
an ocean tramp such as " goes a long way in a long time." 

" Wouldst thou , . . 
Learn the secret of the sea. 
Only those that brave its dangers 
Comprehend its mystery." 

Then, at one's leisure, in complete quiet amongst deep-sea 
men, one may note what a feature it is in a sea-scape 
limited only by the curve of the earth, and the impression 
remains on the mind for ever. No other creature is as 

20 * 



146 JUKDS OF TlEKItA DEL FUEGO 

conspicuous. Storm Petrels are small, and skim the waves: 
whales are comparatively seldom seen, and do not show in 
a heavy sea. Blow as it may, let the seas be what they will, 
look out from a ship, rolling and pitching, straining and labour- 
ing, wrestling with wind and wave for every moment of 
existence, there is the Albatross perfectly at home. Never does 
one tire of watching its ceaseless energy, wheeling in circles 
a mile or more wide, now descending to the waves and dis- 
appearing in their trough, now coming away with a magnificent 
sweep against the sky. 

As one of the wonders of the ocean, this Albatross attracted 
the notice of Sir Richard Hawkins as early as 1594. He 
relates how in a storm off the Patagonian coast " certaine 
great Fowles as big as Swannes, soared about us, and the 
winde calming, setled themselues in the Sea, and fed vpon 
the sweepings of om' ship ; which I perceiving, and desirous 
to see of them, because they seemed farre greater than in 
truth they were, I caused a Hook and Line to be brought me ; 
and with a piece of a Pilchard, baited the Hooke, and a 
foot from it, tied a piece of Corke, that it might not sinke 
deepe, and threw it into the Sea, which, om' ship driuing with 
the Sea, in a little time was a good space from vs, and one 
of the Fowles beeng hungry, presently seized vpon it, and the 
Hooke in his vpper beake. It is like to a Faulcons bill, but 
that the point is moore crooked, in that manner, as by no meanes 
hee could cleere himselfe, except that the Line brake, or the 
Hooke righted. By the same manner of fishing, we caught so 
many of them as refreshed and recreated all my people for that 
day. Their bodies were great, but of little flesh and tender, in 
taste answerable to the food whereon they feed. They were of 
two colours, some white, some grey ; and from the poynt of 
one wing to the poynt of the other, both stretched out, was 
about two fathomes." 

The size and weight of the AYandering Albatross are points 
of much divergence of oi^inion. 



DIOMEDEA EXULANS 147 

On his Voyage to the South Pole, Weddell says : — ''A full 
grown Albatross sometimes measures 16 or 17 feet from the tip 
of one wing to the tip of the other when expanded ; but more 
commonly they average about 12 feet. These birds are so 
abundantly covered with feathers that when plucked, they appear 
not above one half the original size, and our astonishment at 
their apparent magnitude immediately vanishes. I have found 
them when cleaned to weigh from 12 to 25 pounds. Their feet 
are webbed and remarkabl}'' large, so that when the water is 
smooth they can walk on the surface with hardly any assistance 
from their wings, and the noise of their tread is heard at a con- 
siderable distance. Their eggs weigh generally one pound and 
three quarters." 

According to Gould, the average weight is 17 pounds, and 
the measurement from wing-tip to wing-tip 10 feet 1 inch. 
He mentions, however, that Dr. McCormick met with examples 
weighing as much as 20 pounds, and measuring 12 feet. 

The breeding habits of this Albatross are admirably described 
by Earle, from Tristan d'Acunha, in 1824. After accomplishing 
the rough and difficult ascent, he found an extended plain of 
several miles' expanse, terminating in a peak composed of dark 
grey lava, bare, and frightful to behold. 

" Here," he says, " a death-like stillness prevailed, whilst the 
air was bitterly cold." 

" The prospect was altogether very sublime, and filled the 
mind with awe ! " 

" On the one side, the boundless horizon, heaped up with 
clouds of silvery brightness, contrasted with some of darker 
hue, enveloping us in their vapour, and, passing rapidly away, 
gave us only casual glances of the landscape ; and, on the other 
hand, the sterile and cindery peak, with its venerable head partly 
capped with clouds, partly revealing great patches of red cinders, 
or lava, intermingled with the black rock, produced a most extra- 
ordinary and dismal effect. It seemed as though it was still 
actually burning, to heighten the sublimity of the scene." 



148 BIRDS OF TTERKA DEL FUEGO 

" The huge Albatross appeared here to dread no interloper or 
enemy; for their young were on the ground completely un- 
covered, and the old ones were stalking around them. They 
lay but one egg^ on the ground, where they form a kind of 
nest by scraping the earth round it. As we approached them 
they clapped their beaks with a very quick motion, which made 
a great noise. This, and throwing up the contents of the 
stomach, are the only means of offence and defence they seem 
to possess. These birds are very helpless on the land, the 
great length of their wings precluding them from rising up into 
the air, unless they can get to a steep declivity. On the level 
ground they were completely at our mercy." 

"In Auckland and Campbell Islands," says Dr. McCormick, 
" the grass-covered declivities of the hills, above the thickets of 
wood, are the spots selected by the Albatros for constructing its 
nest, which consists of a mound of earth intermingled with 
withered grass and leaves matted together, 18 in. in height, 
6 ft. in circumference at the base, and 27 in. in diameter at the 
top, in which only one egg is usually deposited ; for, after an 
examination of more than a hundred nests, I met with two eggs 
in the same nest in one solitary instance only. The eggs I had 
an opportunity of weighing varied in weight from 14^ to 19 ozs., 
thirty specimens giving an average weight of 17 ozs. ; colour, 
white." 

" The Albatros, during the period of incubation, is frequently 
found asleep, with its head under its wing. On the approach 
of an intruder, it resolutely defends its egg, refusing to quit the 
nest until forced off, when it slowty waddles away in an awkward 
manner to a short distance, without attempting to take wing. 
Its greatest enemy is a fierce species of Lestris, always on the 
watch for the Albatros quitting its nest, when this rapacious 
pirate instantly pounces down and devours the egg. So well is 
the poor bird aware of the propensity of its foe, that it snaps the 
mandibles of its beak violently together whenever it observes the 
Lestris flying overhead." 




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PHALACROCORAX BRASILIANUS 149 

STEGANOPODES 

Family PHALACROCORACIDvE 

PHALACROCORAX BRASILIANUS (Gmelin) 

Le Pu£Q.n dU Br6sil, Brisson, Omithologie, vi, p. 138, 1760. 
Nigaud, Pernety, Voy. lies Malouines, ii, p. 572, 1769. 

Fou brun de Cayenne, Buff on, Hist. Nat. Ois., ix, pi. dccccixxiv, 

1784. 
Procellaria brasiliana, Gmelin, Systema Naturce, i, p. 564, 1788. 
Zaramagullon negro, Azara, Pdxaros, Paraguay y La Plata, iii, pp. 

393, 395, 1805. 

Phalacrocorax brasilianus, Gassin, U.S. Astron. Exp., p. 205, 

pi. xxviii, 1855; Burnford, Ibis, pp. 40, 188, 1877, p. 898, 1878 ; Sclater 

and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 91, 1889. 
Phalacrocorax brasiliensiS, Oustalet, Mis. Sd. Cap Horn, Ois., 

p. 142, 1891. 
Phalacrocorax Vigua, Gra^it, Gat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxvi, p. 378, 

1898. 

Habitat.— The coasts of Texas, Central America, and South America ; the 
Falkland Islands. 

Pernety mentions three species of Cormorants in the Falkland 
Islands — " les uns absolument noirs." The name Nigaud, he 
says, was given to these birds because "ils se laissoient tuer a 
coups de pierre ; & qu'ils ne s'envoloient que quand la pierre 
les avoit atteints, sans les tues. Ils se posent en troupes quelque- 
fois de cent & davantage sur les rochers du bord de la mer. 
Lorsque nous allions a terre dans le canot, il en passoit des 
bandes de deux ou trois cents a huit ou dix pieds seulement au 
dessus de nos tetes." 

Azara thus quaintly and faithfully describes this Cormorant's 
habits : — " Su postura ordinaria bastante derecha, con el cuello 
elevado, mirando con despejo, esquivez y desconfianza. Vuelan 
con bastante violencia y rectitud ; y aunque a veces se elevan 
bastante, lo comun es volar pegados a las aguas. Se posan en 
las playas limpias y mejor en los raygones, piedras, y drboles, y 



150 BIRDS OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO 

cluermen en estos. Habitan los rios y lagunas llmpias y grandes, 
nadando sin sacar otra cosa afuera del agua que la cabeza y la 
mitad del cuello ; pero los ocultan con prontitud quando temen. 
Subsisten del pescado, persiguicndolo con mucha ligereza largos 
treclios baxo de agua." 

The Black Cormorant is common along the rocky coast in 
Whiteside Channel to the west of Maldonado Point, but 1 do 
not remember having seen it far up Useless Bay. 

"Every evening," says Durnford in Central Patagonia, 
" large flocks ascend the R. Cliupat for many miles, flying in 
from the sea, and fish in the river during the night." 



PHALACROCORAX MAGELLANICUS (Gmelin) 

Magellanic Shag, Latham, Synopsis Birds, iii, p. 604, 1785. 
Pelecanus magellanicUS, Gmelin, Systema Nature, i, p. 576, 1788. 
Cormoran magellanique, Eomh-on et Jacquinot, Voy. "Astrolabe" 
et " Zelee;' AtJ. Ois., pi. xxxi, 1853. 

Phalacrocorax magellanicus, Allott, ibis, p. 167, 1861 ; OustaUt, 

Mis. Sci. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 150, 1891 ; Grant, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., 
xxvi, p. 388, 1895. 

Habitat.— Chili, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego ; the Falkland Islands. 

The Common Cormorant is fairly plentiful on the southern 
shore of Useless Bay, in such parts as are rocky. I used to 
come across these birds lying dead on the beach, from what 
cause I do not know : one such specimen yielded me a good 
series of a necrophagous beetle (St'Ipha higuttida). 

All expeditions seem to record this Cormorant, with the 
exception of Darwin. 

Abbott says of it in the Falkland Island : — " It is very com- 
mon along the coasts all the year round. It breeds on the cliffs 
in communities, making its nests of mud and seaweed on the 
ledges of the rocks, and laying three eggs, which do not diflfer 
from those of the King-Shag (P. carunculatus) in appearance. 
It appears to me probable that the thick limy coating which 



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PODICEPS AMERICANUS 



151 



covers the eggs of this group of birds is given them in order to 
strengthen the shell. Shags, when disturbed from their nests, 
frequently even with this additional protection, break their eggs 
with their feet, as I have myself witnessed on more occasions 
than one." 



PYGOPODES 

Family PODICIPEDID^ 
PODICEPS AMERICA-NUS (Gamot) 

PodicepS americanUS, Lesson et Gamot, Voy. " Goquille,'' ZooL, 

i, p. 599, 1826; Otistalet, Miss. Soi. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 235, 1891. 
PodicepS ChilensiS, Gould and Darwin, Voy. " Beagle,'' Birds, p. 137, 

1841. 
PodicepS rollandi {nee Quoy et Gaimard), Durnford, Ibis, p. 45, 1877 

Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 525, 1889. 
PodicipeS americanUS, Grant, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., xxvi, p. 524, 

1898. 

Habitat. — Peru and Bolivia, to Tierra del Fuego. 

$ , Useless Bay Settlement, 2nd Sept. ; (^ San Sebastian Settlement, 
26tli Sept. ; J^, ? , Useless Bay Settlement, 6th Nov., 1904. 

Iris — crimson ; bill — black ; legs and feet — daik grey, inclining to green. 

The Little Grebe — according to Grant — is chiefly distinguish- 
able from the nearly-allied P. roll audi of the Falkland Islands 
by its much smaller size. The total length of this species is 
about 11.5 inches, as against about 14 inches in P. rollandi. 

The British Museum possesses specimens from Lake Titicaca, 
in Peru. 

Darwin says of this Grebe : — " Capt. P. King brought home 
specimens from the salt water channels in Tierra del Fuego, 
where it is excessively numerous. It often makes a very 
melancholy cry, which suits the gloomy climate of those 
desolate shores." 

In my experience this bird is a fresh water form. I have 

21 



152 BIRDS OF TIERKA DEL FUEGO 

never remarked it in tlie sea. Nowhere is it numerous. It 
occurs in pairs or little communities of from three to five 
individuals, which is the greatest number I have seen together. 
It frequents streams and permanent fresh water lagoons. 

It is a weird-looking restless creature, cunning in some 
respects, yet withal curious. It swims round and round 
nervously, and dives from time to time when observed by man. 

Many cartridges can be expended in firing at these birds. 
Mr. J. G. Cameron and myself fired about thirty shots at a pair on 
the water between us one afternoon with no result. Ultimately, 
I secured both birds with a single 12 -bore cartridge from behind 
a blind of drift grass hastily put up on the margin of the lagoon. 

Durnford found this Grebe common in almost every pool 
and ditch in the Chupat Valley. 

Fresh water Crustacea were in the stomachs of all specimens 
examined by me. 



^CHMOPHORUS MAJOR (Boddaert) 

Le Grand Grebe, Baffon, Hist. Nat. Ols., viii, p. 242, 1781 ; Id., Hist. 

Nat. Ois., ix, pi. cccciv, 1784. 
ColymbuS major, Boddaert, Tahle Planches Enluminees, p. 24, 178.3. 
.aSchniOpllOruS major, Dumford, Ibis, p. 203, 1877, p. 405, 1878 ; 

Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 202, 1889 ; Grant, Gat. Birds 

Brit. Mus., XX vi, p. 549, 1898. 
PodicepS major, OustaUt, Miss. Sci. Cap Horn, Ois., p. 232, 1891. 

Habitat. — Brazil and Peru, to Tierra del Fuego. 

? , Useless Bay, 27tli Dec, 1904. 

Iris — magenta ; bill and legs — dark grey. 

The Great Grebe frequents the sea, and fresh water lagoons 
sometimes nearly twenty miles inland. I have occasionally seen 
these birds in lakes in the depths of the forest. How they 
arrive there, and what they live on, I do not know. They are 
not plentiful : they occur in pairs, or sometimes three together. 
They are remarkable for extreme curiosity. I have often seen 



SPHENISCUS MAGELLANICUS 153 

them far out on the water, and they have come in to observe me 
— swimming in close to the shore, moving round uneasily, and 
diving from time to time. This specimen was one of a pair 
which behaved in this way : they came in shore to observe me, 
and enabled me to shoot one. 

In Central Patagonia, Durnford says of this Grebe : — 
" Resident. Observed constantly in a large brackish lake in 
the Chupat Valley in September, and subsequently seen in 
lagoons in the valleys of the Sengel and Sengelen, and in Lake 
Colguape." In the Province of Buenos Ayres he found these 
birds "common, except during spring and summer. They are 
found both singly and in small parties." 

I was under the impression that a bird of this sort, when 
frequenting the sea, would feed on fish. 

In the stomach of this specimen I found a compact mass of 
feathers and fragments of skin, apparently of some water bird or 
water birds. 



SPHENISCI 

Family SPHENISCIDiE 
SPHENISCUS MAGELLANICUS (Forster) 

Pinguin, Pemety, Voy. lies Malouines, ii, p. 565, pi. vii, 1769. 
Aptenodytes magellanica, Forster, Commentationes Societatis Begice 

Oottingei)sis, iii, p. 143, pi. v, 1781. 
Aptenodytes demersa (nee Linnmus), Abbott, Ibis, p. 336, 1860. 
SplieniSCTlS magellaniCUS, Cunningham, Nat. Hist. Strait Magellan, 

p. 271, 1871 ; Sclater and Salvin, Zool. Voy. " Challenger,^' ii., p. 125, 

pi. xxviii, 1880 ; Sclater and Hudson, Argentine Orn., ii, p. 206, 1889 ; 

Oustalet, Miss. Sci. Gap Horn, Ois., p. 243, 1891 ; Grant, Cat. Birds 

Brit. Mus., xxvi, p. 651, 1898. 

Habitat. — Patagonia and Southern Chili, to Cape Horn ; the Falkland 
Islands ; South Georgia. 

The Jackass Penguin has impressed all voyagers, in all 
time, as a chief feature of these regions ; and has furnished 

21 * 



154 BIRDS OF TIIOKRA DEL FUEGO 

them larf^ely — if not wholly on occasion — with the means of 
subsistence. 

It is everywhere common in these waters; but I was never 
so fortunate as to see with my own eyes one of their wonderful 
colonies. 

Forster, who accompanied Cook in the " Resolution " in 
1774, was the first to give this Penguin its scientific name. Of its 
habits he says : — " In Insula Novi Anni, Insular Statuum vicina, 
multa millia hujus speciei vidimus e mari escendere et loca altiora 
insulae petere, ubi satura e piscatu marino, quem gregatim insti- 
tuunt, inter cespites dactylidis glomerata3 victitant, dormiunt, et 
nidulantur post Pelecanos et Diomedeas. Vox rauca, clangens, et 
etiam crotali instar crepitans, fere asina. Homines et phocas 
non metuunt, eisque vix de via decedmit ; et si evadere homines 
nequeunt, tum caput horsum vorsum in utrumque latus, quasi 
mirabundte, torquent et subito vehementissimo morsu pedes 
appropinquantium appetunt. Aliquot centum a nautis nostris 
fustibus necata, in navem avecta, excoriataque, omnibus elixa 
assataque in cibum cessere, nil minus quam ingratum." 

Cook himself mentions meeting with " prodigious numbers." 
He adds: — "I cannot say they are good eating. I have indeed 
made several good meals of them ; but it was for want of better 
victuals." 

As early as 1578, Sir Francis Drake, at the time of his 
naming Elizabeth Island, mentions finding on two smaller islands 
near it, one of which was subsequently named Penguin Island 
and is now known as Santa Magdalena, " great store of strange 
birds which could not flie at all, nor yet runne so fast as that 
they could escape us with their Hues ; in body they are less than 
a Goose, and bigger than a Mallard, short and thicke sett together, 
hauing no feathers, but instead thereof a certaine hard and matted 
downe ; their beakes are not much vnlike the bills of Crowes, 
they lodge and breed vpon the land, where making earthes. 
as the Conies doe, in the ground, they lay their egges and 
bring up their 3'oung ; their feeding and provision to live on 



SPHENISCUS MAGELLANICUS 155 

is in the sea, where they swimm in such sort, as nature may 
seeme to have granted them no small prerogatiue in swiftnesse, 
both to prey vpon others, and themselues to escape from any 
others that seeke to cease vpon them ; and such was the infinite 
resort of these birds to these Hands, that in the space of 1 day 
we killed no lesse than 3000." 

At " Pengin Island," near Port Desire, in 1587, Thomas 
Cavendish " powdred three tunnes of Penguins for the victualing 
of his shippe." 

Sir Richard Hawkins visited Penguin Island in the Strait of 
Magellan in 1594, and his description of its inhabitants is through- 
out full of original observations and quaint methods of expression. 

" The Pengwin," he says, " is in all proportion like a Goose, 
and hath no feathers, but a certaine downe vpon all parts 
of his bodie ; and therefore cannot flee, but auayleth himselfe in 
all occasions with his feet, running as fast as most men. He 
liueth in the Sea, and on the Land feedeth on fish in the Sea, and 
as a Goose on the shore vpon grasse. They harbour themselues 
vnder the ground in Burrowes, as the Conies ; and in them hatch 
their young. All parts of the Hand where they haunted were 
vndermined, saue onely one Valley which (it seemeth) they 
reserued for their food ; for it was as greene as any Medow in 
the moneth of Aprill, with a most fine short grasse. The flesh of 
these Pengwins is much of the sauour of a certaine Fowle taken 
in the Hands of Lundey and Silley, which we call Puffins, by the 
taste it is easily discerned that they feed on fish. They are very 
fat, and in dressing must be flead as the Byter ; they are 
reasonable meate rosted, baked, or sodden ; but best rosted. 
We salted some doozen or sixteene Hogsheads, which serued vs 
(whilest they lasted) insteed of powdred Beefe. The hunting 
of them (as wee may well terme it) was a great recreation to my 
company and worth the sight, for, in determining to catch them, 
necessarily was required good store of people, euery one with a 
cudgell in his hand, to compasse them round about, to bring 
them, as it were, into a Ring ; if they chanced to breake out, 



156 BIHDS OF TIKKRA DKL FCEGO 

then was tlie sport, for the ground beeing vndermined, at vna- 
wares it failed, and as they ranne after them, one fell here, 
another there, another offering to strike at one, lifting vp his 
hand, sunke vp to the arme-pits in the earth, another leaping to 
auoid one hole, fell into another. And after the first slaughter, 
in seeing vs on the shoare, they shunned vs, and procured 
to recouer the Sea : yea many times seeing themselues per- 
secuted they Avould tumble down from such high Rockes and 
Mountaines, as it seemed impossible to escape with life. Yet as 
soone as they came to the Beach, presently we should see them 
runne into the Sea, as though they had no hurt. Where one 
goeth, the other foUoweth, like sheepe after the Bel- weather : 
but in getting them once within the Ring close together, few 
escaped, saue such as by chance hid themselues in the borrowes, 
and ordinarily there was no Droue which yeelded vs not a 
thousand, and more : the manner of killing them which the 
Hunters vsed, beeing in a cluster together, was with their 
cudgels to knocke them on the head, for though a man gaue 
them many blowes on the body they dyed not : Besides the flesh 
bruized is not good to keepe. The massacre ended, presently 
they cut off their heads, that they might bleed well : such as we 
determined to keepe for store, we saued in this manner. First, 
wee split them, and then washed them well in Sea-water, then 
salted them, liauing laine some sixe houres in Salt, we put them 
in presse eight houres, and the bloud being soaked out, wee 
salted them againe in our other caske, as is the custom to salt 
Beefe, after this manner they continued good some two moneths, 
and serued vs in steed of Beefe." 

At Penguin Island, near Port Desire, in 1670, Sir John 
Narborough says : — " I took into my Boat three hundred 
Penguins, in lefs than half an hour, and could have taken three 
thousand in the time, if my Boat would have carried 'em ; for 
'tis but driving 'em in Flocks to the Shore, by the Boat fide, 
when two or three men knock them on the head with fhort 
Truncheons, and the reft heave them into the Boat." 



SPHENISCUS MAGELLANICUS , 157 

Pernety's observations on this Penguin in the Falkland 
Islands in 1764 are exceedingly droll : — " Un animal singulier," 
he remarks. ..." Quand il crie, on diroit un ane qui brait. 
Son maintien & sa demarche n'imitent pas ceux des oiseaux. 
II marche debout, la tete & le corps droits comme I'homme. lis 
se logent dans glajeux, comme les Loups marins, & se terrent 
dans les tannieres, comme les Renards." 

On the " Nassau " Survey, Dr. Cunningham thus humorously 
describes a colony of these birds on Penguin Island in the Strait 
of Magellan : — " On climbing to the summit of one of the high 
banks we beheld a company of Penguins (Sphemscus magellanicus), 
which, after standing erect and staring at us in a stupid manner 
for a few moments, shuffled off, their little wings hanging limp at 
their sides, and their dark grey and white colouring, and reeling 
movements, suggesting a drunk and disorderly funeral procession. 
When hard pressed they abandoned the erect position, and 
crouching down on all fours, if I may be permitted the expres- 
sion, ran along like rabbits at a very rapid rate, using their wings 
as fore-legs, till they gained their burrows, fairly ensconced in 
which they faced their pursuers, and, slowly turning about their 
heads from side to side, barked and brayed in the most ridiculous 
manner, offering a stout resistance to being captured by biting 
most viciously with their strong bills. Whilst contemplating 
one individual in its den, I was suddenly startled by a loud 
^^ Ilo-ho-ho-ho-ho" close to me, and turning round perceived 
another bird, which had boldly walked out of a neighbouring 
burrow, and was thus addressing me. I succeeded at last, 
though with much difficulty, in raking an old bird out of its 
hole with the crook of a walking stick, and also obtained two 
young ones in their down." 

Capt. Fitzroy contributes the following note, on the occasion 
of his visit to Noir Island in the " Beagle," in 1830 : — 
" Multitudes of Penguins were swarming together in some 
parts of the island, among the bushes and ' tussac ' near the 
shore, having gone there for the purposes of moulting and 



158 BIRDS OF TIEKHA DEL FUEGO 

rearing their young. They were very valiant in self-defence, 

and ran open-riiouthed, by dozens, at any one who invaded their 

territory, little knowing how soon a stick could scatter them on 

the ground. The young were good eating, but the others proved 

to be black and tough, when cooked. The manner in which they 

feed their young is curious, and rather amusing. The old bird 

gets on a little eminence, and makes a great noise (between 

quacking and braying), holding its head up in the air, as if it 

were haranguing the penguinnery, while the young one stands 

close to it, but a little lower. The old bird having continued its 

clatter for about a minute, puts its head down, and opens its 

mouth widel}^, into which the young one thrusts its head, and 

then appears to suck from the throat of its mother for a minute 

or two, after which the clatter is repeated, and the young one is 

again fed; this continues for about ten minutes. 1 observed 

some which were moulting make the same noise, and then 

apparently swallow what they thus furnished themselves with ; 

so in this way I suppose they are furnished with subsistence 

during the time they cannot seek it in the water." 

Of the Jackass in the Falkland Islands, Abbott says it is 
the first of its kind to arrive for breeding, and commences 
laying, almost to a day, on the 7th of October. Some few, 
however, are found on the shores of these islands the whole 
year, which is not the case with any other Penguin. " It has 
been asserted," he adds, " that these birds crawl on all fours to 
their breeding places. This is not the case ; they walk upright, 
and it is only when they are frightened and hard-pressed, that 
they lose their balance, fall forward, and then make use of their 
fins and legs to get out of harm's way." 



Printed for Bernabd Quabitch, 11 Grafton Street, London, W., by G. Nobman and Son, 

Floral Street, Ccveul Garden, London, W.C. 



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